Kazakhstan has introduced quarantine rules for travellers who have visited regions at risk of coronavirus. This article outlines the provisions and their impact on employers.
One obligation on employers in Kazakhstan is to create and ensure safe labour conditions and, if necessary, to provide employees with personal protective equipment. An employee may refuse to perform work in the event of a situation that threatens his or her health or life (in this specific case, to be sent on a business trip to a country with a high risk of exposure to coronavirus) by written notice to the employer. The first category of highest risk coronavirus-exposed countries includes, in addition to the PRC, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.
Starting from 20 February 2020, Kazakhstan introduced quarantine with isolation at a provisional inpatient facility for 14 days for individuals arriving from China, followed by subsequent medical supervision at primary health care facilities ('PHCF') at their place of residence for ten days after being discharged (this takes the form of daily calls).
As part of the state security measures, the Kazakhstan Government previously suspended the 72-hour visa-free stay regime in Kazakhstan territory for transit visitors from the PRC. Kazakhstan restricted tours for tourists, as well as business trips by Kazakhstan officials. The Government has also decided to suspend railway traffic and flight connections with China, including passenger bus transportation.
The highest (except for PRC) and second highest risk categories of coronavirus-exposed countries.
Starting on 1 March, Kazakhstan will limit flights to South Korea and will completely stop flights to Iran. The Ministry of Health also recommends travellers refrain from visiting Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Italy and other countries where more than ten coronavirus cases have been detected.
An employee returning from a business trip to one of these places will be subjected to home quarantine (self-isolation at home) and prevented from visitng mass gathering places within 14 days of the date he or she crossed the state border into Kazakhstan. During this period the employee will be visited by PHCF employees who will also check on the individual's health for ten further days by phone. The exception is the members of official and government delegations, holders of service and diplomatic passports, pilots of and crew members air companies, locomotive crew members, and drivers engaged in international road transportation of cargos.
The same supervision procedure is introduced for the individuals arriving from second-category countries, which include Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
If agreed upon by the parties, an employee may work remotely from home or from any other place (as appropriate). Any changes in labour conditions must be reflected in a supplementary agreement to the employment contract.
Third category of coronavirus-exposed countries
Individuals sent on business trips to third-category countries where fewer than ten coronavirus cases have been detected are not subject to any quarantine measures; however, health workers will call them within 24 days of the date they crossing the state border into Kazakhstan.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.