Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced on October 15 that restaurants and entertainment facilities in the capital city of Tbilisi, as well as in western Imereti region will be banned to operate after 22:00, effective from October 16. The PM ruled out, however, to reintroduce nationwide lockdown, instead calling on the citizens to observe virus preventing recommendations to allow the full reopening of the economy.
The Prime Minister also announced that there is no ground to postpone October 31 general election and that the reopening of universities will take place as planned on October 19, despite surge in cases.
The announcement comes as the country reported on October 15 daily record of 919 COVID-19 cases, of which 366 were revealed in Tbilisi, which is starting to replace western Adjara region – with 286 new cases – as the new pandemic hotspot in the country. 104 cases were reported in Imereti region.
PM Gakharia affirmed that imposing additional restrictions will allow the authorities to decelerate the speed of virus spread, however, underscored that these measures alone are not enough to contain the virus, unless the citizens follow the recommendations, including wearing face-masks and observing physical distancing.
The Prime Minister then spoke of changes to the policy of quarantine for arrivals. According to the PM, Georgian citizens, presenting PCR test results upon arrival, will no longer have to undergo mandatory quarantine, and will self-isolate for 8 days instead. The Georgians without test results upon arrival will again be required to undergo quarantine in Government-provided spaces.
PM Gakharia also noted that flight frequency to and from Paris and Munich will increase before the end of October, while direct flights from Tbilisi and Kutaisi airports to other destinations in Europe will be restored “step by step, but with caution” in November, without providing further details.
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