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Uzbekistan

If you’re travelling to Uzbekistan, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel. 

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Particular care should be taken when travelling to areas bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan other than via authorised crossing points.

Emergency Assistance     

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Uzbekistan, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Moscow.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Uzbekistan before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Uzbekistan, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

EU DIRECTIVE ON CONSULAR PROTECTION
 
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
 
Our tips for safe travels
  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates  
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Unrest

Care should be taken when travelling to areas bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan other than via authorised crossing points. Security incidents have been reported from border areas and some areas are mined. Particular care should be taken if you are travelling in the Fergana Valley. 

Demonstrations

Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings. Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

Terrorism

Terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan cannot be ruled out. You should be particularly vigilant in public places and pay attention to any security announcements by the Uzbek authorities. The Uzbek government has occasionally restricted travel to certain parts of the country in response to security concerns.

Crime

Crime is not a serious problem in Uzbekistan. However, there have been occasional muggings and petty crime against foreigners so you should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
  • Avoid obvious displays of wealth, especially in rural areas
  • You should carry your passport with you at all times as this is a legal requirement in Uzbekistan. The police often carry out checks.
  • Avoid travelling in unofficial taxis, particularly at night and alone, or if there is another passenger already in the car

Police officers

There have been allegations of crimes by off-duty policemen or those pretending to be policemen. Genuine police officials should always present their own credentials when asking someone for proof of their identity. If you’re in doubt, go to the nearest police station.

Lost or stolen passports

If you lose your passport, report it immediately to the police and get confirmation of the loss in writing. You’ll need this when applying for an emergency passport from the Irish Embassy in Moscow. The Embassy can accept applications for new passports, which may take between four and six weeks to be processed in Dublin, but new full passports cannot be issued in Moscow.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Uzbekistan, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Moscow if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Uzbekistan, take care – many roads are poor and badly lit. 

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and your  international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • There is a zero tolerance policy towards those driving under the influence of alcohol
  • You drive on the right in Uzbekistan and vehicles approaching a roundabout have a right of way over those already on it

Road safety

There are security checkpoints at the city limits of Tashkent and other towns throughout the country so you may experience delays if you travel by car. 

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Public transport

In Tashkent it is safer to use official taxis and to travel in modern vehicles. We don’t encourage the hiring of private unlicensed hackney cabs instead of licensed taxis.

Many buses and taxis run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and safety regulations are not always followed. Where possible, you should choose modern vehicles when travelling by bus or taxi.

Air safety

If you intend to travel to, from or within Uzbekistan, avoid flying on airlines listed under the EU operating ban. It is not known if maintenance regulations are properly observed with aircraft used for internal flights. Where possible, use a direct flight originating from outside Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

 

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Personal identification

You should carry your passport with you at all times as this is a legal requirement in Uzbekistan. The police often carry out checks.

Illegal drugs

The possession of certain drugs is illegal and prison sentences can be lengthy.

Prescribed medication

Bring a doctor’s prescription with you if you intend to travel with prescription medicine and declare the items on your Customs Declaration Form. If you don’t declare these items or if you’re carrying more than the legal limit, you could face administrative or even criminal proceedings, even if you have a doctor’s prescription. Information on prohibited medicines and the legal quantities of medicines that are allowed to be imported can be found on the website of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan. 

Homosexuality

Homosexuality is illegal under Uzbek law. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Photography

While photography in public places is generally permitted, you should check before using a camera, especially near airports, military barracks and police stations.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquakes

Uzbekistan is located in an active seismic zone and earth tremors do occur. In 2011, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale struck the Batken region of southwestern Kyrgystan and tremors were felt in Tashkent. A number of deaths and injuries were reported.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure about the entry requirements for Uzbekistan, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London.  

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

If you want to travel to Termez and other parts of the Surkhandarya region, you’ll need to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tashkent.

Passports

You should carry your passport with you at all times as this is a legal requirement in Uzbekistan. The police often carry out checks. Make sure you fill in the next of kin details in the back pages.

Customs

Foreigners must complete a Customs Declaration in duplicate on entering Uzbekistan. Customs officials will review and stamp both copies. One will be retained by the Customs Authority, you keep the other and present it when you leave the country.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see what vaccinations you need for Uzbekistan.

Medical facilities

The quality of medical care is generally poor and you should avoid all but basic treatment or essential treatment in the event of an emergency. Comprehensive medical insurance, including evacuation by air ambulance, is essential.

Malaria

Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.

Other illnesses

Outbreaks of hepatitis A, meningitis and diphtheria have occurred in Uzbekistan. Cases of polio have been reported in border areas and tuberculosis is also a concern.

Food hygiene

Peel fruit and vegetables, avoid undercooked meat, unpasteurised dairy products and most of the food sold on the streets.

Water

We recommend that you drink only boiled or bottled water during your stay, and avoid ice in drinks.

Money

Bring enough money for the duration of your stay and only change money through official exchange booths. You will need to complete a foreign-currency declaration form when you arrive, and keep a copy yourself. You cannot leave with more foreign currency than you arrived with. ATMs are uncommon in Uzbekistan and the use of credit cards is rare outside of high-end restaurants and hotels in Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. .

More travel advice

Because we don’t have an Embassy or Consulate in Uzbekistan, we can’t give you up-to-date travel advice. But you can visit these foreign ministries for more detailed information:  

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

The Embassy operates an out-of-hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance. If you are in need of emergency assistance, please ring the Embassy Duty Officer at +7 985 928 7615

Embassy of Ireland to the Russian Federation
Grokholski Perulok 5
Moscow 129010
Russia

Tel: +7 495 937 5911
Fax: +7 495 680 0623

Contact us