Is Mongolia really opened for tourism to the world?
On February 14, Prime Minister L. Oyun-Erdene announced that the Cabinet approved a resolution on lifting the heightened state of readiness and downgrading the level of restrictions from ‘Orange’ to ‘Yellow’.
Mongolia is now open to international travelers, although the only border point currently allowing visitors is the main airport in the capital Ulaanbaatar, trans-Siberian train entry will depend on our two neighbor Russia and China. No restrictions will be imposed on business operations. Currently, 92 % of the country’s total adult population have become fully vaccinated, while 52 % of target group citizens have been administered with their third shot of COVID-19 vaccines. 90 thousand citizens have also been involved in their fourth shot so far. Thus, based on the risk assessment that was carried out on infection and protection, the Cabinet made the decision to ease pandemic restrictions, noted the Prime Minister during the press conference.
In the framework of the ‘New Revival Policy’, the Prime Minister underlined that the government will continue to stand firm in its stance on making up for pandemic losses and increasing investment through economic recovery.
Mentioning that passengers can get vaccinated in Mongolia as the country has now become open to all tourists and investors who are fully vaccinated, “The government, administrative bodies, private entities, and tourism companies of Mongolia will put efforts into creating the necessary conditions to ensure safety and provide smooth services for all those arriving in the country for business and tourism purposes,” he said.
Highlighting that the pandemic continues to pose challenges, he then expressed his confidence in all citizens and entities to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 by taking the appropriate measures such as being involved in vaccinations and wearing face masks.
On February 15, New Revival Policy-Tourism discussion held in Ulaanbaatar. Following ministries addressed their views.
S. Enkhbold, Ministry of Health and Sports:
Health care services are open to all ways to cooperate. The minister showed his support by following policies are another way of support in the tourism sector. Those are:
· The Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism to make specific proposals to support tourism.
· Our country has sufficient stocks of vaccines against Covid-19. Therefore, foreigners visiting our country through tourism can get vaccinated free of charge if tourists request.
· Organizations operating in the field of tourism can cooperate and make contracts with local hospitals and Clinique concerning health related issues.
· If foreigner gets infected Covid-19 in Mongolia, he/she will be treated free of charge.
B. Battsetseg, Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
The number of countries available for electronic visa applications will be increasing in stages. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is carrying out certain activities with a special focus on the entry of foreigners visiting our country and supporting tourism cooperation.
· The Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens has been amended.
· Mongolia's visa regulations and accompanying regulations were approved last year in 2021. A legal framework has been created for the issuance of Mongolian visas electronically and at border crossings, and for the development of cross-border tourism.
· Mongolia has been piloting the www.evisa.mn system for issuing 3 types of visas to 36 foreign nationals for a short period of time within 20-72 hours since last October.
· Preparations are underway to organize a project called “21 provinces, 21 countries to promote new tourism resources abroad and increase the flow of tourists.
B. Baterdene, Head of the capital city tourism department of Mongolia:
The Government will fully support tourism in the framework of a new revival Policy.
· We are holding an online meeting with the Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Mongolia and provide information related to the official promotion of Mongolia's tourism policy abroad and the support of tourism companies.
· We also receive Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from abroad in Mongolia and introduce tourism policy.
· Monday, February 21st, meeting scheduled with major tourism partners and international donors, the Ambassadors.
· As part of the revival policy, the Government of Mongolia needs to amend 44 laws and make legal reforms.
· Based on the February 15th discussion’s feedback, some of the necessary items related to the new revival policy will be submitted and approved to the Government of Mongolia.
· Issues related to changes in the legal environment will be submitted to the spring session of the State Great Khural on march 15 for approval.
· Include tourism related issues at the Economic Forum that will held in the end of March, to make policy decisions.
· To promote Mongolia at the Davos Summit that will held on May 25-27.
· 101st anniversary Naadam will be held on July 10-13 this year. During this time to hold an investment forum.
· A working group has been set up in September to plan major investment forums.
Although post Covid situation is improving in Mongolia, following questions are still confuse us: After announcement from the prime minister saying that the border or port of entry is open, there are still many questions that are not clear many questions arising.
Is Mongolia requiring vaccination from travelers?
Yes, travelers without any vaccination, should be aware of the possibility of mandatory or selective testing on arrival. PCR testing and vaccination is free of charge.
Can traveler with full dosage vaccination still need to take PCR test at the port of entry?
Yes, it may include person who has minimum 2 dosage, if necessary, traveler can get 3rd and 4th dosage injection for free of charge.
Are travelers isolated after landing in Mongolia?
No, all passengers are not isolating, if you are tested negative.
If Positive, what happens?
What happens when tourist get infected COVID positive, while in Mongolia?
He/she can be treated free.
Travelers should know that the port of entry at the international airport is open to fully vaccinated people. It is not clear for unvaccinated people should be aware of the possibility of mandatory or selective testing on arrival. All the testing and vaccination are free of charge. Masks and mandates still will have to be followed. Be ready for changes and restrictions concerning decisions still being reviewed.
(The regulation divides COVID-19 transmission in the country into four levels each represented by a color and lays out detailed rules and guidelines for operations and activities to be carried out by government organizations, individuals and private businesses under each level.
Green level, yellow level, orange level, red level
(Orange level-Under the Orange Level transmission, complete or partial heightened state of readiness is declared and operations of public and private organizations and individuals are restricted to a certain extent depending on the situation).
(Yellow level- issued when the coronavirus cases registered in the past 14 days are ‘imported’ from abroad and taken under control or the local cases confirmed in the past two weeks are not directly related to each other in terms of their timing and locations)
Source: Mongolian tourism associations