Is it Safe to Visit Mongolia?

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Before unnecessary, tourist trips to Mongolia is currentlywarned.

Epidemiological situation

Mongolia is very badly affected by COVID-19. Nationwide, the incidence is now more than 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days, which is why Mongolia is classified as an area with a particularly high risk of infection (high incidence area).
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides current and detailed figures.

entry

All international flight and train connections are suspended until May 31, 2021. Exceptions are special flights operated by the Mongolian government and a few international airlines. Entry by land is currently not possible.

Foreigners or German nationals with a permanent residence permit for Mongolia and those with a Mongolian spouse and children together are allowed to enter by air. Prior authorization from the Mongolian authorities is no longer required for entry. Flight tickets can now be booked directly with the operating airline (depending on the destination). Registration via the Mongolian Foreign Ministry is currently only required for entry via Seoul. A valid visa or residence permit is required for entry.
Mongolian missions abroad are authorized to issue short-term diplomatic, official and business visas; These 30-day visas are extended once in Mongolia by up to 30 days to a maximum of 60 days. All people entering Mongolia must have a negative PCR test that must not be older than 72 hours. In addition, any change in travel regulations in the two neighboring countries Russia and China, but also in Korea and Japan, has a direct impact on the situation in Mongolia. Immediately upon entry, a 7-day quarantine begins in a state facility (for foreigners usually in a hotel) under simple circumstances (limited personal care options, very simple catering). The available quarantine facilities are published on this website. At least two PCR tests must be carried out during the quarantine. The quarantine only ends when both test results are negative and there are no typical COVID-19 symptoms. If the test result is positive, the infected person is admitted to hospital for treatment. All those who can be shown to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least 14 days or who can be shown to have already suffered from COVID-19 and have fully recovered are exempt from the quarantine obligation.

Since the flight baggage is also taken into quarantine, the hand baggage must contain essential items for the quarantine - such as: B. Medicines, personal hygiene items, a change of clothes. A total of approx. € 100 (50,000 MNT per person / day) will be billed for the accommodation in quarantine.

Transit and onward travel

A transit stay is not possible until May 31, 2021 due to the suspension of commercial air traffic.

Travel connections

All international flight and train connections are suspended until May 31, 2021. Entry by land is not possible.

Restrictions in the country

The Mongolian government has decided on various measures, including a partial curfew and restrictions on travel to / from Ulan Bator and between the provinces. In Ulan Bator, the level of increased readiness applies from May 8, 2021, 6 a.m. until June 5, 2021, 6 a.m., the level of increased readiness (level orange, level 3 of four). Authorities and government institutions as well as shops and services operate with restrictions. Private passenger traffic to and from Ulan Bator is only possible if there is an important reason and if a negative PCR test or a complete vaccination certificate is presented. This also applies to foreigners. In the rest of the country outside of Ulan Bator, increased readiness continues to apply (levels 2 or 3). The traffic between the individual provinces of Mongolia is partially restricted.

Hygiene rules

Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in public. Violations against this are punishable by a fine of up to 50,000 MNT (approx. 15 euros). Fever measurements are often taken at building entrances. Customers are often asked to register via the app for the purpose of contact tracking or to store their contact details.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out about detailed measures and additional information from the Mongolian government via the state news agency Montsame.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or come into contact with infected people, contact the health department.
  • If you are currently in Mongolia, you can also find out more on the homepage of the German Embassy Ulan Bator.
  • For urgently needed trips, be sure to inquire about the current entry requirements at the Mongolian embassy.
  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

terrorism

Domestic situation

The domestic political situation is stable despite frequent changes of government. There have been isolated demonstrations in the past.

  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

Petty crime such as pickpocketing and handbag theft occurs in the capital Ulan Bator in markets, especially the Narantuul market, in shopping centers, department stores and in the vicinity of well-known restaurants, pubs and tourist attractions. In isolated cases, there may be violent acts of alcoholized men, including against foreigners.

Even outside of the cities there are isolated crimes of violence, robbery and theft against tourists. In some cases, on-board accomplices in taxi rides have robbed passengers with the driver.

  • Be especially careful when it is dark in the city.
  • Avoid the poorer parts of the city, called Ger quarters.
  • When taking a taxi, always take a seat in the back seat and do not allow other passengers to board.
  • Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
  • Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
  • In large crowds such as at airports, train stations, in markets and on public transport, pay particular attention and watch out for your valuables.
  • Never leave drinks unattended and check prices before ordering.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

Mongolia lies in a seismically active zone, which is why earthquakes can occur.

The climate is semi-arid continental. Short rainy seasons extend from mid-July to mid-September.

There is extreme cold in winter and extreme heat in summer.

  • Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.
  • Familiarize yourself with earthquake behavioral guidelines. These are provided by the fact sheets of the German Research Center for Geosciences.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

International safety standards are not always adhered to on domestic flights.
The Trans-Mongolian Railway connects Ulan Bator with Russia and China.

In view of the insufficient road infrastructure everywhere and the generally less defensive driving style, there is an increased risk of accidents on overland tours, especially off paved roads.

The alcohol limit is 0.0. Checks are frequent and violations are severely punished.

The network of emergency medical care is particularly thin in rural areas, which is why even minor injuries / consequences of accidents can lead to major complications.

When using private taxis, the fare is often excessively high; failure to pay can lead to extremely uncomfortable situations with the driver. The offer of regular taxi companies that z. In some cases, it is also possible to contact them in English.

The risk of injury on horseback excursions is particularly high if a helmet is not worn and saddle equipment is not used with safety stirrups. Canoeing and kayaking on Mongolian rivers pose considerable dangers without being accompanied by local people.

Due to disease outbreaks (e.g. foot and mouth disease), individual areas of Mongolia may be temporarily closed to tourists.

  • Pay attention to minimum standards in vehicles such as seat belts.
  • Avoid driving overland in the dark.
  • In the case of taxi rides, inquire about the fare in advance and use providers with whom an agreement is possible.
  • Always observe minimum safety standards even during activities.
  • Never go canoeing and kayaking on rivers alone, but on the land side with a local guide.

Driving license

A German driver's license is recognized with a translation for stays of up to one year. The translation can be either the international driver's license or a translation made by an official translator.

LGBTIQ

Mongolia is one of the few Asian countries where discrimination against LGBTI people is prohibited. Homosexuality and any other form of sexual identity are legal in Mongolia. LGTBI people in Mongolia do not enjoy special constitutional protection beyond their basic rights, but are not discriminated against by the applicable laws - with the exception of family law.

An open social exclusion is not recognizable. Violent attacks on LGBTI people by the population exist, but state actors and the public are gradually being made aware of the situation of LGBTI people. In this way - mainly in Ulan Bator - an environment is created in which LGBTI people do not have to live in constant fear of discovery or defamation of their sexual identity and way of life. A corresponding scene exists among the locals, but keeps a low profile in public and, especially in rural areas, progress with regard to the situation of LGBTI people is much slower.

The classic role models of the feminine woman and the masculine man are firmly anchored in Mongolian society. According to the Mongolian family law, a marriage is defined exclusively as the union of a man and a woman. This goes hand in hand with the lack of recognition of same-sex marriages or other legally binding associations abroad.

Legal specifics

Photography is prohibited in the vicinity of military and security facilities. When traveling to the border regions, special permits from the border authorities are required.

Money / credit cards

The national currency is the Tugrik (MNT). US dollars or euros can be exchanged in all banks and exchange offices. In the case of smaller or damaged notes, the exchange rate may be worse. False Mongolian banknotes are increasingly in circulation.
According to the law, all payments must be made in Mongolian tugrik. In the country, money can only be exchanged in the aimag centers, so before long trips you should exchange enough local currency in Ulan Bator.

In Ulan Bator you can find more and more ATMs from which cash can be withdrawn with credit or bank cards (plus system). Money can also be withdrawn in larger banks with credit cards. Such a supply of money is not yet possible in the countryside.

All large hotels, restaurants and shops where foreigners frequent accept major credit cards.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
All travel documents must be valid for at least six months.

visa

German citizens do not require a visa for entry and short-term visits or business stays of a maximum of 30 days.

For long-term stays or other travel purposes, a visa is required, which can be applied for at any Mongolian embassy.

If you are entering from countries without a Mongolian embassy or if you have agreed with the local contact person beforehand, visas can also be issued at the airport, if required for entry. However, this must be clarified in advance by the inviter / business partner in Mongolia with the immigration authorities, which will issue a written confirmation that the traveler should carry with him in order to be transported by the airlines.

Regardless of the possibility of issuing a visa upon entry, it is advisable to obtain the visa before departure. Further information is available from the Mongolian immigration authorities.

Transit travel

The airport in Ulan Bator does not have a transit area. A visa is therefore required even if you are only staying briefly between two flights.

Border crossings for foreigners

Foreigners can only enter or leave the country:
- via the international airport of Ulan Bator,
- by train from Russia in Sukhbaatar and from China in Zamyn Uud,
- by car: Mongolian-Russian border: Altanbulag / Khiagt (Selenge Aimag); Tsgaan-Nuur / Tashanta (Bayan Ulgii Aimag); Mongolian-Chinese border: Zamynd-Uud / Ereen (Dornogov Aimag / Ostgobi).
Please note that the border crossings mentioned are not open around the clock and there may be waiting times.

The use of border crossings other than those mentioned above can lead to refusals or extended waiting times because border officials are not familiar with handling international documents.

Registration

For stays of more than 30 days, visitors must register with the immigration office for the first seven days and de-register before leaving in order to receive an exit visa.

Minors

There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.

Departure and onward travel to the PRC

A visa is required for outward and onward travel to the People's Republic of China, which must be obtained from the responsible Chinese diplomatic mission abroad.

It should be noted that according to current Chinese immigration law, the visa application must be submitted in the country of citizenship or habitual residence (which must be proven in the visa procedure). This means that travelers in Mongolia cannot obtain a visa for China through the Chinese embassy in Ulan Bator.

Import regulations

There is no limit to the importation of foreign currencies, but they must be declared. The export is possible up to the amount declared.

The import and export of local currency is prohibited.

When leaving the country, there is a very frequent and strict search for antiques, valuable minerals, paleontological finds, metals and hunting trophies. Hunters are allowed to import and export their personal hunting weapons including ammunition. Detailed information can be found on the Mongolian Customs website.

Entry by car

Entry with your own vehicle is possible. The vehicle is entered in the passport upon entry. If it is planned to leave the country without the vehicle, i.e. the vehicle remains in the country or is carried out in a container, it is advisable to clarify the necessary procedure with the Mongolian main customs office in advance.

There are occasional supply difficulties with fuel in the country, v. a. Diesel. This should be taken into account when planning trips (carrying spare canisters). Euro diesel for vehicles with the Euro 5 standard is only available in exceptional cases.

A German driver's license entitles you to drive a vehicle during a short stay, but a translation must be carried with you.

Pets

For the import and export of animals, a vaccination certificate and a current official veterinary certificate from the exporting country must be presented for each animal, stating that the animal does not suffer from contagious diseases, has been properly vaccinated and the export location is free from epidemics. There must also be an exit permit stating that the animal may be exported from the country of origin. Upon entry, a certificate will be issued at the border for a fee of 20,000 Tugrik (approx. 7 euros) per animal.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A and rabies are recommended as travel vaccinations, and for long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, typhoid, meningitis (A / CW / Y) and TBE.
  • Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

measles

In 2015/2016 there was a measles epidemic with 20,000 cases, mostly among children and adolescents. After Mongolia had already been classified as measles-free in the previous years, vaccination campaigns should now lead to a containment of the epidemic again.

tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is still a health problem in Mongolia. Around 200 new cases and relapses are recorded per 100,000 inhabitants and year, estimates are even higher. Resistance of the tubercle pathogen to the usual tuberculosis drugs is not uncommon.

rabies

This infection is still endemic in the country (especially dogs, but also e.g. bears), and isolated human deaths are reported every year. In 2017 a mad bear was shot in the national park not far from Ulan Bator.

HIV / AIDS

There is always a high risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions.

  • Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.

Early Summer Meningoencephalitis (TBE) and RSSE (Russian Spring Summer Encephalitis)

This tick-borne viral meningitis occurs mainly in the north on the border with Siberia, see TBE leaflet.

  • Contact a travel / tropical medicine doctor in good time before entering the country about a possible vaccination.
  • To avoid the risk of mosquitoes and ticks when traveling exposed, protect yourself consistently against mosquito and tick bites, especially during the day, as part of exposure prophylaxis.

Hand, foot and mouth disease HFMD

This entero- or coxsackievirus infection, transmitted through contact or droplet infection, repeatedly leads to outbreaks, also in Ulan Bator. With appropriate hygiene (hand hygiene) and avoidance of contact with sick people, an increased risk for travelers is not to be expected.

Brucellosis

Diseases have been recorded regularly in recent years. This bacterial, febrile illness is transmitted through contact with sick animals (sheep, goats, cattle) or consumption of insufficiently cooked dairy products.

  • Be careful with raw milk and raw cheese.

Anthrax

Small outbreaks of this bacterial infection occur in humans in rural areas every year. The disease is mainly caused by sick cattle. There is only a risk of infection when there is contact with animals or handling of their products (fur, raw milk or meat products).

pest

Mongolia is one of the few countries where the plague is endemic. Here it is transmitted from sick marmots to humans, as these are considered a delicacy. In 2019, two Russian tourists died after eating contaminated marmot meat. A risk of transmission exists only in direct contact with infected rodents (e.g. when hunting), with unprocessed products made from them, or through bites of infected fleas. There is practically no risk of infection for the normal traveler.

Air pollution

Extreme air pollution caused by district heating plants, traffic and furnace heating of the yurt settlements and favored by frequent inversion weather conditions causes particular pollution in winter. This exceeds German limit values ​​many times over. Both the pollutant emissions, which reach peak values ​​in winter, and the extreme dryness of the air are responsible for z. T. chronic breathing difficulties and bronchial diseases. These unhealthy environmental conditions are worrying and are discussed in the media.

Find out about current air values ​​e.g. B. via the World Air Quality Index and the smartphone app AirVisual.

Medical supplies

Medical care in the country cannot be compared with Europe and is often problematic in terms of technology, equipment and / or hygiene. In recent years, private international clinics have opened in Ulan Bator (Intermed, SOS, Songdo, GrandMed), which have contributed significantly to improving outpatient and inpatient care, at least in the capital.
Not all Western drugs - especially drugs that fall under the Narcotics Act - are available in Mongolia.

  • Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
  • Take an individual first-aid kit with you and protect it against high temperatures when you are out and about, see the first-aid kit leaflet.
  • Before you go on a trip, seek personal advice from a travel doctor and adjust your vaccination protection. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.

In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:

  • All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
  • The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
  • All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
  • In spite of the best possible efforts, the medical information is always just a consultation offer. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Country information for your travel destination

Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.

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Further information for your trip