The Government of Georgia announced on December 22 that it will lift several coronavirus lockdown rules during December 24 to January 2.
The relaxed rules mainly apply to the non-essential shops and shopping malls that resume operation from 07:00 to 19:00, albeit with a number of additional regulations:
- One customer allowed per 20 square meters;
- Customer queues must be managed both indoors and outdoors;
- Discounts must be announced “primarily during morning hours,” or online;
- Dressing rooms to be banned;
- The period for refunding or exchanging purchases to be extended to a one month period and should only take place after February 1;
- Shopping mall food facilities to be banned, including delivery.
The 21:00 – 05:00 nationwide curfew will remain in effect, with the New Year’s eve and Georgian Orthodox Christmas night, December 31 and January 6, respectively, being the two exceptions, the Government of Georgia announced. Georgia’s religious minorities can also request a one-time pass via government hotline, allowing for attendance of religious holidays that involve overnight stays.
Easing restrictions will not affect the ban on intra-city and inter-city public transportation, as well as the work of marketplaces, despite earlier pledge upon introducing multi-phased two-months-long lockdown on November 28.
In addition, the Georgian authorities announced that hotel restaurants will only be allowed to remain open until 21:00, with only room service being available afterwards.
Throughout the 2-months period, no restrictions apply only to the work of banking and finance institutions, beauty salons, all types of industries and construction activities, taxi services, or private transportation.
Noting that ongoing lockdown helped epidemiological situation to stabilize, Vice Prime Minister Maia Tskitishvili called on private sector and the citizens to act responsibly and not allow the rapid spread of the virus.
On December 22 morning, the Georgian authorities reported 3,064 new daily cases, 3,740 more recoveries and 42 new fatalities. Total confirmed cases in the country (excluding occupied territories) equal 212,526, of which 188,408 have recovered and 2,182 died. The number of active cases to date stands at 21,910.