Uzbekistan is so confident that travellers won’t get the coronavirus when they visit, that it is willing to give just over R50 000 to any visitor who contracts the coronavirus in the country. It launched the “Safe Travel Guaranteed” campaign, offering visitors $3,000 if they get infected while traveling in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan, which is reopening to tourists, will only allow in travellers from low risk countries such as China, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. South Africans, in the vague instance of borders opening, will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. This applies to tourists from the United Kingdom and Europe too.
Sophie Ibbotson, Uzbekistan’s tourism ambassador to the UK, said, “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.” Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the decree earlier this week.
There are, however, some conditions to receiving the money: travellers must book with a local tour guide, and local guides, accommodation, and tourist sites will need to receive government certification showing they are following safety and hygiene guidelines.
According to News24, Uzbekistan is not the first country to have offered incentives to travellers. The Italian island of Sicily announced it would pay half the flight costs and a third of hotel costs , while Cancun, in Mexico, said it would pay for half of tourists’ hotel costs.
Umm Muhammed Umar