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Arriving in Kazakhstan with international flights: What you need to know about restrictive measures regarding PCR certificates

Tuesday, 27 October 2020, 20:21:50

Today Chief State Sanitary Doctor on Transport Sadvakas Baigabulov and Head of Sanitary and Quarantine Points of the Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Control on Transport Daria Azimbayeva spoke about the mandatory PCR test certificate for passengers arriving in Kazakhstan with international flights at the press center of the Central Communications Service.

As Sadvakas Baigabulov informed, since the introduction of restrictive measures on PCR certificates from Oct. 6, 2020, 44,834 passengers have arrived in Kazakhstan on international flights. 84% of them with PCR certificates. 7,540 passengers arrived without certificates and were placed in quarantine hospitals for two days in quarantine for PCR tests. Among these 7,540 people, 39 positive imported cases were identified. The contacts were 413 passengers and 44 flight attendants. However, the results of monitoring indicate that no COVID-19 was detected among contact passengers and flight attendants.

For a two-day quarantine, air passengers are placed in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Uralsk, Aktobe, Atyrau, Aktau and Karaganda.

Baigabulov said that from Oct. 6, 2019, in accordance with the requirements of the IAC Resolution, foreign citizens are not allowed on board without PCR certificates. During this time, foreigners have been identified with expired certificates and express tests. As a result, 31 foreign citizens were deported. These are citizens of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Great Britain and Germany.

In general, 426 international flights have arrived in Kazakhstan since Oct. 6. Passengers with positive PCR test results were found on 19 flights.

Last week, an information campaign was held to introduce additional restrictive requirements regarding the compulsory PCR certificates and admission to the aircraft, if available, from the airport of departure and for citizens of Kazakhstan. Accordingly, a certain amount of work has been done to ensure that our citizens in the near and far abroad are aware of these requirements that must be met.

The day before, 96% of passengers arrived with certificates. No one was admitted to the quarantine hospital in Nur-Sultan today, since all 138 passengers arrived with negative PCR certificates. The rest of the passengers arrived in Almaty, 42 passengers were quarantined for two days.

Considering the situation with coronavirus infection, that COVID-19 was not detected by the laboratory method among contact passengers and flight attendants, respectively, the Interdepartmental Commission decided on Oct. 26 that the requirement for a certificate for COVID-19 from the airport of departure and admission to the aircraft applies only for foreign citizens. Accordingly, citizens of Kazakhstan have the right to fly from foreign countries to Kazakhstan without PCR certificates.

“But at the same time, we recommend that citizens who are abroad take tests in the host country. Today, in the countries of near and far abroad, there is no problem to pass PCR tests. There are collection points in international airports, hotels and cities, analyzes are provided within 24 hours,” Baigabulov said.

It is noteworthy that all arriving passengers who are accommodated in a two-day hospital are arriving from vacations — from Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates. Citizens who come from a business trip or study have a certificate.

Those foreigners who arrive from Oct. 27, without PCR certificates with a period of no more than 3 days from the date of receipt, will be deported to the country of arrival. Airlines that accept foreigners on board without PCR certificates will be held administratively liable, that is, they will be fined 1,600 MCI.

The chief state sanitary doctor for transport, answering journalists' questions, informed that there are no special rooms at Kazakhstani airports to isolate foreign citizens in case of a positive result.

“It is not difficult for foreigners to take tests from the airport of departure, where they are. The airport does not have premises and there is no organization or institution where it is necessary to carry out PCR analyzes so that this foreign citizen was for a certain amount of time at the airport, waiting for the results. Why isn't it possible? In the future, if there is a positive result, it will be necessary to hospitalize him in an infectious diseases hospital in the event of Covid-19, and now selection points are deployed at the airports of Nur-Sultan and Almaty, and those citizens, including ours, departing and arriving can get tested and get results. If the result is positive, then hospitalization is needed, this raises a lot of questions, unlike when a person arrives with a negative result,” explained Baigabulov.

He added that, according to the monitoring results, no Covid-19 has been identified among contact passengers and flight attendants.

“Today, crew members are exempt from PCR studies, as they undergo non-contact thermometry before the shift. If there is an excess of temperature, they will be removed for PCR analysis,” he said.

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