Uzbekistan had one of the fastest-growing tourism markets in 2019.

  • Uzbekistan is reopening to travellers, and it's giving any visitor who gets infected a little over R50,000.
  • In order to receive compensation, travellers must book their trip with a local tour guide.
  • However, the country is only open to tourists from low-risk countries without a quarantine requirement, like China, Israel, Japan, and South Korea.
  • South Africans, if they can get there, will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Uzbekistan is confident travellers won't get the coronavirus when they visit.

Over 33 million people live in the country, but with its swift lockdown approach, the country had just 19 reported coronavirus-related deaths.

In fact, it's so confident that the country launched the "Safe Travel Guaranteed" campaign, which offers visitors $3,000 – the equivalent of a little over R50,000 – if they get infected with the virus while traveling in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed the decree on Tuesday. The amount is the estimated cost of medical care to treat the coronavirus in the country.

The country is famous for its ornately tiled Silk Road architecture.

"We want to reassure tourists they can come to Uzbekistan," Sophie Ibbotson, Uzbekistan's tourism ambassador to the UK, said in a statement. "The government is so confident that the new safety and hygiene measures being implemented across the tourism sector will protect tourists from COVID-19 that the president is prepared to put money where his mouth is: If you get COVID-19 on holiday in Uzbekistan, we will compensate you."

However, there are a few caveats.

In order to receive the money, travellers must explore the country with a local tour guide.

Local tour guides, accommodations, and tourist sites will be required to receive a certification from the government that shows they are following safety and sanitary guidelines.

So far, the country has announced it's open to visitors from low-risk countries, like China, Israel, Japan, and South Korea. Travelers from the UK and Europe are required to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive, according to Lonely Planet.

Women outside of a bazaar in Uzbekistan.

For countries deemed "red", where infections are rising, such as South Africa, new arrivals are quarantined by the government on arrival, for 14 days.

Last year, Uzbekistan was named the fourth fastest-growing tourism market, according to the UN's World Tourism Organisation.

This isn't the first incentive a country has issued to encourage travel. The Italian island of Sicily announced it will pay for half your flights and a third of your hotel costs if you visit, and Cancun is offering to pay for half of your hotel costs.

Other countries have taken the opposite approach. For example, Cambodia announced that it will require travellers to make a $3,000 deposit to cover costs in the case that they get the coronavirus.

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