- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Visas and Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
Avoid non-essential travel.
Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020
We strongly advise against all travel to:
- Nagorno-Karabakh and the military occupied area surrounding it.
It is the subject of a continuing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. For further information, please read the Safety and Security section of this page.
The first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Azerbaijan on 28 February. See information and guidance from WHO regarding the outbreak, it is updated daily.
A quarantine regime has been put in place by authorities and has been extended until 2 November. For up to date information on which international flight routes are operating, please see the following link: Baku International Airport (GYD). All passengers arriving to and departing from Azerbaijan must have the results of a negative coronavirus test issued in the previous 48 hours. A test on arrival may also be required and all arriving passengers have to self-isolate for 14 days. Additional measures (e.g. quarantine in state facilities) will follow if you test positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The situation is subject to change at short notice. If you have concerns about future travel plans, please contact your airline.
If you are in Azerbaijan, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Azerbaijan, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Ankara in Turkey.
In an emergency, you can call the following numbers:
- Fire brigade – 01
- Police – 02
- Ambulance - 03
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
On 27 September 2020 there was a number of clashes on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces. On 28 September 2020 Azerbaijan authorities introduced Martial Law across the country until further notice.
A curfew has been put in place from 9pm until 6am in the following areas: Baku, Ganja, Sumgayit, Yevlakh, Mingachevir, Naftalan, Absheron, Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Agjabadi, Beylagan, Agdam, Barda, Tartar, Goranboy, Goygol, Dashkasan, Gadabay, Tovuz, Shamkir, Gazakh and Agstafa districts. Many international flights have been cancelled and the situation is subject to change at short notice, please monitor local media closely for developments.
The political situation in Azerbaijan is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest. Demonstrations occasionally take place, mainly in Baku. Opposition rallies are usually heavily policed and there has been violence on occasions. Keep well away from any large gatherings.
We advise against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the military occupied area surrounding it. This area is the subject of a continuing dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia and there are regular reports of exchanges of gunfire across the Line of Contact. Some areas may be heavily land mined.
You should not attempt to enter or leave Azerbaijan via the land borders with Russia (i.e. Dagestan) as these are closed to foreign nationals.
Anyone who has visited Nagorno-Karabakh without the permission of the Azerbaijani authorities will be refused entry to Azerbaijan.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.
Although the threat from terrorism in Azerbaijan is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreign nationals such as international hotels, restaurants and pubs. Take sensible precautions and be vigilant.
Crime rates are relatively low in Azerbaijan but occasional muggings do take place, particularly around the western bars and clubs and near dimly lit entrances of private apartments. You should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Azerbaijan, report it to the local police immediately. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ankara if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Azerbaijan, you should take care, especially if driving at night. Driving conditions are stressful and often confusing and the standard of driving is poor with many traffic accidents. Roads tend to be badly lit and of poor quality and many cars are poorly maintained. If you want to drive, bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you are allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Be aware, most old taxis do not have seat belts.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Local culture & religion
Local and foreign women usually dress in western-style clothing. However, both men and women should avoid wearing shorts in the street as you could attract unwelcome attention.
Azerbaijan is a largely secular society and religion is usually considered a private matter. Most of the population is Muslim. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. In 2019, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start at sundown on 5 May and finish on 4 June. The Nowruz public holiday takes place in Azerbaijan in 2019 from 20 March to 26 March.
Homosexual activity is legal in Azerbaijan, but many Azerbaijanis disapprove of public displays of affection. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.
You should avoid photographing sites such as military bases, equipment and installations in whatever condition. These are considered sensitive areas, and visitors have been detained and questioned while attempting to visit them.
You should also be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing mosques, churches and other religious sites. If in doubt, seek permission.
Visas and Additional Information
Visas and Additional Information
Visas and additional information
Irish citizens need a visa to enter Azerbaijan. You cannot get a visa on arrival in Azerbaijan so you will need to check out visa and other entry requirements in advance from the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Azerbaijan.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish nationals staying in Azerbaijan for longer than 3 days must register with the nearest police station within 3 working days of arrival. Hotels may provide this service for their guests, but visitors staying in apartments or private residences will have to register by themselves. Each traveller is responsible for ensuring that the registration has been completed. Guidance on the process can be found on the English language pages of the State Migration Service’s website. Those staying longer than 30 days are required to register for a residence card.
Fines are applied if registration is not done on time.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry your passport at all times as police often operate identity checks. Ensure that you keep it secure and leave a photocopy of the details page separately in a safe place.
Azerbaijan is located in an active seismic zone; however, it has not experienced any serious earthquakes recently.
Check with your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Azerbaijan.
Medical facilities outside Baku are very limited. Even in Baku serious illness or injury may require evacuation to Turkey or Western Europe. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
Please note that if you require assistance in the case of an emergency while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, 00 90 312 4591000, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.
This mailbox will be monitored regularly. Please have an English speaker leave the initial message.
Embassy of Ireland
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88
B Blok Kat 3
Monday to Friday 09.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 17.00
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.