Turkmenistan’s Commission to Combat the Spread of Disease Steps Up Restrictions – turkmen.news Exclusive

Turkmen.news has received a copy of new decisions of the Emergency Commission to Combat the Spread of Disease, which held a sitting at the end of last week. The document has 23 points – new restrictions and regulations concerning the prevention of coronavirus. The government still does not acknowledge the presence of cases of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan despite dozens of confirmed deaths of specific individuals.

This is only part of the document Turkmen.News can show to protect the identity of its source

All the restrictions have been imposed until February 1 or 15. The rules listed below are in the order of the Turkmen-language original with some minor cuts. The parts in bold have been highlighted by Turkmen.News.

1. On January 28 an S7 Airlines plane will deliver the latest batch of the Russian Sputnik Light vaccine to Turkmenabat. The Sinopharm booster vaccine will be supplied from China by February 6.

2. Turkmenistan is postponing the return of its citizens stranded abroad until February 1. The flight from Istanbul to Turkmenbashi scheduled for January 21 has been cancelled.

3. Enforcement of mask wearing in crowded places, social distancing and personal hygiene is to be stepped up.

4. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and local authorities in Ashgabat and the regions are to carry out deep cleaning and decontamination of schools.

5. Travel to and from regional centers, other districts, and other regions is restricted for residents of border districts until February 1.

6. The work of banqueting halls and restaurants is restricted until February 1. Restrictions are to be introduced in Ashgabat on January 17 and in the regions on the 15th.

7. The work of markets, shopping malls, and shops (excluding food shops) and cafes is restricted from January 15 to February 1.

8. The number of scheduled flights from Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi, and the regional centers is to be restricted to one a day from January 15 to February 1. Flights will be limited to the routes Turkmenbashi-Dashoguz, Dashoguz-Kerki, Dashoguz-Mari, and Turkmenabat-Dashoguz.

9. Restrictions are to be imposed on short, paid courses in state institutions from January 15 to February 1.

10. Restrictions are to be imposed on professional development courses in education and health from January 15 to February 1.

11. Restrictions are to be imposed on competitions, championships, and tournaments in all types of sport from January 15 to February 1.

12. The work of museums, theaters, cinema and concert centers, and other cultural leisure facilities is to be restricted from January 15 to February 1.

13. Citizens are allowed to receive sanatorium treatment near their registered place of residence, and residents of Ashgabat may receive it in Ahal region, as long as they observe the requirements of the Emergency Commission.

14. Doctors, nurses, and medical students are to be assigned to control points on highways at the boundaries between regional centers and districts to carry out enhanced checks. The measures are to be in place until February 15.

15. Shift work must be organized for employees of ministries, departments, and the Ashgabat city authorities who work an eight-hour day and 40-hour week. In organizations employing fewer than 100 people, half the employees will work from 08.00 to 17.00, and half from 09.00 to 18.00. If an organization employs more than 100 people, 30% of them must work from 08.00 to 17.00, 40% from 09.00 to 18.00, and 30% from 10.00 to 19.00.

Departments where employees do not work a standard five-day schedule must draw up a new working regime taking into account the specifics of the work.

16. Extend until February 15 the ban on the work of retail outlets (with the exception of food shops) and public eateries (cafes and restaurants) and on the use of marquees for special events with the exception of funerals and memorials.  

17. Extend until February 15 the ban on short, paid educational courses in institutions beyond the remit of state bodies.

18. Extend until February 15 the ban on inter-university and inter-departmental sporting events.

19. Extend until February 15 the current temporary restrictions on passenger rail and bus travel to the regions.

20. Extend until February 15 restrictions on mass religious services in mosques, prayer houses, and places of mass pilgrimage.

21. Extend until February 15 the operation of the “Temporary system for entering and leaving Ashgabat for the country’s residents.”

22. Extend until February 15 restrictions on crossing the border for citizens of Turkmenistan, foreigners, and stateless persons. An exception will be made for people in need of urgent medical treatment.

23. Extend until February 15 restrictions on the work of swimming pools, saunas, billiards and games halls, massage treatment rooms, fitness centers, beauty salons, and children’s recreational facilities.

Turkmen.News will continue to cover the coronavirus situation in Turkmenistan.