COVID tests offered at Astara border terminal

November 14, 2021 - 18:42

TEHRAN – A team for coronavirus testing is onsite at Astara border terminal in northern Iran, Astara’s tourism chief has announced. 

Foreign tourists are required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccination certificate to enter the country, so medical personnel is present at the border terminal to prevent suspicious visitors from entering, Mojtaba Abroshan said on Sunday. 

During the last ten days, and after performing coronavirus tests on foreign nationals upon arrival, 16 of them tested positive and they have been returned to their countries of origin, the official added. 

The city’s accommodation centers are also closely monitored, he mentioned. 

Earlier in October, Iranian officials announced new rules for foreign tourists interested in visiting the country. 

According to the rules, direct and indirect entry and exit of nationals of Iran and other countries (both groups and individuals) from/to air and land borders are no longer restricted by presenting a valid vaccination card and following protocols approved by the Ministry of Health. 

A health certificate with a negative coronavirus PCR test result, issued at most 96 hours before arrival, is required for travelers.

Direct or indirect travel from/to high-risk countries designated by the World Health Organization is excluded from this regulation.

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this instruction, and if any violations are observed, the authorities will be notified.

In early October, the deputy tourism minister Ali-Asghar Shalbafian announced that the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control agreed to reopen the country’s borders to foreign tourists, based on the new conditions prevailing in the country after crossing the fifth wave of the pandemic, increasing vaccinations, and at the request of the tourism ministry.

As a condition for entry into the country, the headquarters has instructed all tourists and the host communities to follow all health protocols, the official added.

As the post-coronavirus era emerges, extensive measures have been taken to revive the tourism industry, he noted.

He also expressed hope that issuing tourist visas would result in an upsurge in tourism.

The port city of Astara is a major tourist and economic center on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, in Gilan province. It is the last point of the border between Iran and Azerbaijan.