Safety and security
Avoid all but essential travel to areas bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan other than via authorised crossing points. Uzbekistan’s borders are potential flashpoints and tensions exist over the recognition of the Uzbekistan/Kyrgyzstan border. Security incidents have been reported from border areas and some areas are mined.
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.
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.
There is a threat from terrorism in Uzbekistan. Over the last number of years there have been a number of indiscriminate attacks some of which have been directed against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. 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.
Tension is high in Fergana Valley and you should exercise caution.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
In Tashkent it is safer to use official taxis and to travel in modern vehicles. We don’t encourage the hiring of private gypsy cabs instead of licensed taxis.
Many buses and taxis run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and safety regulations are not always followed. A bus exploded in Tashkent in 2010, causing six deaths. Where possible, you should choose modern vehicles when travelling by bus or taxi.
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.
Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:15:11 BST