Azerbaijan restricts citizens’ movement amid COVID-19 quarantine regime
By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
The Operational Headquarters under the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers has applied restrictions on citizens’ movement, effective from April 5 to April 20, as part of quarantine regime to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Thus, as of April 5, citizens are allowed to leave their place of residence only after obtaining permission. In order to obtain permission, citizens must send an SMS to number 8103 (SMS is free). The text of the SMS should contain one of the following 3 indices and personal identification data.
Number 1 - in order to leave the place of residence due to urgent medical need or undergoing treatment according to the schedule (permission for 2 hours within the district and city. If there is a need for movement between regions and cities, the distance between the residence address and the destination address is taken into account and the time of the treatment procedure, the time of return is set by the certificate issued by the doctor, which, if necessary, is presented to the police);
Number 2 - in order to leave the place of residence due to the need to purchase food and other daily necessities, as well as medicines, use banking and postal services (permission is issued once a day for 2 hours);
Number 3 - in order to leave the place of residence in connection with the participation in the funeral of a close relative.
Identity data includes:
- For a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan - a series and number of an identity card (for example, AZE1111111);
- For foreigners temporarily or permanently residing in Azerbaijan, or stateless persons - the series and number of the certificate of permission for temporary or permanent residence in the territory of Azerbaijan (MYİ (DYİ) 1111111),
- For foreigners and stateless persons whose term of temporary stay in the territory of Azerbaijan has been extended - the series and number of the decision to extend the period of temporary stay (MOM1111111).
Example: in order to leave the place of residence due to the need to purchase food and other everyday goods, as well as medicines, use banking and postal services, you should send an SMS of the following content - 2 AZE1111111.
The response SMS received from the electronic government information system indicates the validity period of the permit. A person can leave his place of residence only after receiving a positive response.
If citizens have any difficulties in using the SMS permission system and sending SMS, they can contact the Call Center 9108 of the State Agency for the provision of services to citizens and social innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN Xidmət).
Exemption from SMS permit
In order to leave the place of residence in the event of a situation that poses a direct threat to life and health, sending an SMS is not required. Also, when summoned to court or law enforcement agencies, persons leave their place of residence without sending an SMS. In this case, they present at the request of the police officers a document proving the call of the court or law enforcement agencies.
In addition, the following group of citizens are allowed to leave their homes to act on the basis of service cards or a certificate of employment:
- Employees of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Staff of the Cabinet of Ministers;
- Members of the Milli Majlis (parliament) of Azerbaijan and employees of its Staff;
heads of central and local executive authorities and their deputies;
- The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) and the employees of the Ombudsman Staff;
- Heads of state-owned legal entities, as well as public legal entities established on behalf of the state and their deputies;
- Employees of law enforcement, judicial and military bodies, lawyers;
- Employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- Employees of facilities of national importance and life support, as well as continuously functioning institutions;
- Employees of state health bodies and institutions, private health care institutions;
- Employees of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in the Republic of Azerbaijan and their local staff (based on accreditation cards issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan).
2. The following persons are allowed to move after the employer has entered information about them into the icaze.e-gov.az portal using an electronic signature:
- Employees of state bodies, state-owned legal entities, including public legal entities established on behalf of the state;
- Employees of private legal entities, the operation of which is permitted in the directions established by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated March 30, 2020 No. 120, and individuals engaged in entrepreneurial activities without creating a legal entity, and their employees;
- Employees required to ensure the protection and technical safety of private legal entities, the operation of which is not permitted.
3. Movement of volunteers of the ASAN Volunteers Public Association, the Regional Development Public Association, the Agrarian Development Volunteers Movement, “Bir” Student-Volunteer Program, volunteers of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Azerbaijan after entering data about them in the “icaze.e-gov.az” portal.
4. All other persons are allowed to leave the place of residence in the following cases:
- Due to urgent medical necessity and receiving treatment on any schedule;
- In connection with the need to purchase food and other daily necessities, as well as medicines, and to use banking and postal services;
- In connection with attending the funeral of a close relative.
The relevant state structures and private legal entities must enter data on employees, and the relevant volunteer organizations should enter data about volunteers in the icaze.e-gov.az portal from 10:00 on April 3, 2020.
It is mandatory to have identification documents with you when leaving the place of residence.
Violation of the rules for introducing restrictions on movement will be regarded as a violation of the special quarantine regime and envisages liability established in the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code. At the same time, the facts of introducing false data to obtain permission through the icaze.e-gov.az portal and abuse of the procedure for obtaining permission through the SMS system in order to leave the place of residence will be constantly investigated. Strict liability measures will be applied with respect to legal entities and individuals violating the rules.
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