What coronavirus restrictions may be introduced in high-risk red zone regions of Kazakhstan?

Kazakhstan will reintroduce the Ashyq system. The operation of the mobile application is intended to be resumed in case the hospital bed capacity increases by more than half, the representatives of the Kazakh Health Ministry announced at a meeting with businesspeople. The experts from the relevant ministry outlined the restrictions awaiting the regions that may enter a high-risk red zone for coronavirus. Among the proposed measures are a face mask mandate, the transfer of employees to a remote work format, rapid testing of those who work on a rotational basis and a partial ban on holding mass events. According to the Health Ministry, this time easier quarantine restrictions are being proposed compared to last year. However, according to businesspeople, even minor bans can negatively affect the work of enterprises, particularly, in foodservice and trade sectors.

“Given the current situation, we can see that mostly small businesses such as restaurants, shopping and entertainment centers will be affected insignificantly by the quarantine restrictions. It is planned to resume the work of the Ashyq system in such facilities, and it also raises a number of questions among business owners respectively. With the introduction of Ashyq system, they will not have any additional expenses except only in terms of hiring employees. The government should meet business needs and cover the additional costs, either providing cheap loans or some other financial support,” stated Nazgul Kabdrakhmanova, spokesperson for the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs.  

Business owners requested to introduce a moratorium on inspections in case the epidemic situation worsens. In addition, entrepreneurs expect the country’s Health Ministry to present a complete report of the effectiveness of the restrictive measures that were imposed in 2020 and 2021. In particular, they ask representatives of the relevant ministry to demonstrate the effectiveness of the spent funds and vaccination, as well as the use of medicines and medical products.