NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan introduced new regulations for arriving passengers in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, said Almaty Chief Sanitary Doctor Zhandarbek Bekshin at an Oct. 5 online press briefing.
Testing before flight has become a new normal now. Foreigners planning to travel to Kazakhstan must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken less than 72 hours before the flight, otherwise they will be removed from the flight.
Kazakh citizens arriving in the country must also present a negative COVID-19 test result taken less than 72 hours prior to arrival. Failing to do so will put them in quarantine for two days until they pass a COVID-19 test. In case of a positive test result, they will be transferred to an infectious diseases hospital.
Transit passengers with no COVID-19 test results are also placed in a two-day quarantine. Passengers with high temperature will be isolated in an infectious disease hospital, regardless of the test result.
“The main issue is the isolation of passengers arriving from abroad. If our citizens present a negative COVID-19 test result, then they will go to passport and customs control. But if they do not have the document (COVID-19 PCR test) valid for three days prior to arrival, then they will be isolated in quarantine hospitals,” said Bekshin.
In Nur-Sultan, Ramada Plaza will serve as a quarantine venue as well as the Renion Hotel, the Ambassador, Shera Park, and Premier Alatau in Almaty.
The new regulations came into effect Oct. 6. Four flights from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates landed in Nur-Sultan international airport on the night of Oct. 6 carrying a total of 483 passengers. 150 of them did not have a COVID-19 test result and were placed in a quarantine for two days.
“This is not the first time we have done this. In spring, we were placing passengers arriving from abroad in quarantine hospitals and conducted examinations. Therefore, we can talk about the full readiness of the capital’s health care system in this area. In general, we are ready to deploy up to 800 beds for passengers on international flights,” says deputy head of Nur-Sultan city Healthcare Department Aliya Rustemova.
On the same night, Almaty airport received eight flights from Belarus, South Korea and Turkey with a total of 797 passengers, including 230 who did not take a COVID-19 test.