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Abkhazia Reopens for Russia Despite Surge in COVID Cases

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On August 1, Moscow-backed Abkhazia lifted all four-months-long travel restrictions with the Russian Federation. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also signed the order earlier today, reopening Russia to Georgia’s Black Sea region.

The Russian visitors seeking to arrive in Abkhazia will not be required to present COVID-free certificates. The Abkhaz will also be allowed to freely enter Russia.

Kremlin-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania, who is visiting Moscow since July 30, made an unexpected announcement about reopening the region to Russia on July 31, following the decision of Russian coronavirus task force to lift travel restrictions with Abkhazia from August 1.

Appealing the Abkhaz after lifting travel restrictions, Bzhania said “we are grateful to the leadership of Russia for their decision, which will undoubtedly have a positive effect on the economic situation” in the region.

Fearing coronavirus, Sokhumi imposed travel restrictions on Psou crossing point, connecting the region to Russia, in late March. On July 28, it extended restrictions through August 4 as the cases started to surge in the region again.

The region now has a total of 98 confirmed cases of which 37 people have recovered and three died. 60 new COVID cases were revealed since July 21 alone in the region of less than a quarter-million people.

14 new COVID cases, most recorded since the region confirmed its first case in April, were revealed today on August 1.

As of August 1, Russian Federation has confirmed over 845,000 coronavirus cases, of which 646,524 have recovered and 14,058 died.

Georgia has confirmed a total of 1171 cases of which 947 have recovered and 17 died.

Since mid-March, citing coronavirus fears, Abkhaz authorities maintain the closure of the Enguri crossing point, connecting the region with Georgia proper.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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