Uzbekistan is initiating a unique approach to the restoration of its tourism industry by paying tourists USD $3,000 if they contract COVID-19 while visiting.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed an official decree on Tuesday surrounding “additional measures for the development of tourism in strict compliance with the requirements of the enhanced regime of sanitary and epidemiological security.”
As part of this decree, businesses across the country were awarded additional privileges for reopening, including guide services, such as tour guides and translators, as well as excursion leaders and self-employed citizens, who are now able to reinstate their services.
- See also:
Additionally, in order to maintain the health and safety of domestic and international tourists amid the coronavirus pandemic, and to entice and further promote a higher flow of foreign visitors entering the country, authorities have created the “Uzbekistan. Safe Travel Guaranteed” initiative, which is where the payment comes in.
“From the funds of Safe Tourism foundation in accordance [with] ‘Uzbekistan. Safe travel Guaranteed’ system requirements, foreign tourists are paid compensation payments in the amount of 3 thousand US dollars in case of infection with coronavirus (COVID-19) during the trip on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” the decree explains.
The dollar amount is meant to be equal to the estimated cost of medical care and treatment that citizens of Uzbekistan would receive should they become infected with the virus.
“We want to reassure tourists they can come to Uzbekistan,” Uzbekistan’s tourism ambassador to the United Kingdom, Sophie Ibbotson, said in a statement. “The government is so confident that the new safety and hygiene measures being implemented across the tourism sector will protect tourists from COVID-19, that the President is prepared to put money where his mouth is: if you get COVID-19 on holiday in Uzbekistan, we will compensate you.”
Travel and tourism venues across the country have been improving and enhancing their hygiene, health, and safety protocols to align with government requirements and are encouraged to sign up for voluntary certification to demonstrate their compliance with the new measures.
Domestic travel in Uzbekistan has been permitted since June 1 for those journeying between “no or low-infection ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ zones.” International commercial flights will resume this month, with foreign visitors from “low-risk countries,” including China, Japan, South Korea, an Israel, being permitted entry without any restrictions or quarantines.
Travellers from other locations, such as the EU and UK, will be allowed to enter the country, so long as they quarantine for 14 days in isolation. These rules will be eased and lifted as soon as these regions “get their own infection rates under control, and arrivals no longer pose a public health threat to Uzbekistan.”