New East Digital Archive

Uzbekistan postpones visa-free travel

Uzbekistan postpones visa-free travel
Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Image: Bobyrr under a CC licence)

12 January 2017

Disappointment for those in the midst of planning a Silk Road adventure — Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has postponed plans to grant visa-free travel for citizens of 27 countries by nearly four years.

Last month it was announced that on 1 April 2017 Uzbekistan would introduce visa-free travel for all citizens of Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, with citizens of Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, the USA or Vietnam (and China if travelling in a group) aged 55 or over enjoying the same privilege. Not so fast — the new rules are now not set to come into force until 1 January 2021.

A presidential decree published on 9 January states that the postponement was the initiative of the State Tourism Committee, the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry’s State Customs Committee, among others, “in order to provide steady and balanced development of tourism activities” and to “secure safety for the lives and health of foreign tourists and citizens of Uzbekistan”.

Hold that thought.

Source: Radio Liberty