COVID-19: Georgia Eases Lockdown Rules

Freshly-elected Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced today that Georgia will lift the ban on intercity transport and reopen hotels in ski resorts starting tomorrow, February 25. Ski lifts in the resorts will be available come March 8.

The indoor areas of restaurants and other food catering facilities will reopen in Batumi starting March 1, and from March 8 in the rest of the country, albeit will only be allowed to operate on workdays.

Conferences, trainings, museums, and libraries will resume from March 1, while gyms and sporting facilities are set to reopen starting March 15. Theaters, sports clubs, professional ensembles will be able to continue practices and training from March 15, and public attendance at their events will be possible from April 1.

Municipal transport, currently only available on workdays, will begin working on weekends starting February 26.

Higher education institutions will be allowed to conduct laboratory work and exams in person starting March 1, and physical attendance at lectures and seminars will resume come March 15.

Preschool facilities, both public and private, are set to reopen from March 1, however, 20% of employees must undergo mandatory testing once every two weeks.

All marketplaces and shopping malls, previously only working on weekdays, will be allowed to open on all seven days of the week come March 8.

Moreover, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakstan, Russia, and Belarus, from March 1, will be added to the list of countries whose nationals can enter Georgia by providing a negative PCR test result at the airport upon arrival. The list previously included visitors from the EU, the U.S., Israel, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Noteworthy, that the national curfew, in effect from 21:00 to 05:00, has still not been lifted.

Reacting to the eased restrictions, Head of the Georgian Gastronomy Association said that “reopening on Saturday and Sunday, and moving the national curfew to 23:00 or removing it altogether” remain crucial, as restaurants make most of their income either on the weekends or in the evening.

Inn Group hotel chain executive, in turn noted that the hospitality business in Georgia’s ski resorts will likely not be able to reopen on such short notice, given the high costs of recruiting employees back immediately.

Georgia reported 443 new cases of COVID-19 on February 24, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 269,438. With 19,051 tests conducted today, the daily rate of positive cases amounted to 2.33% nationwide. 263,257 patients recovered and 3,463 died over the duration of the pandemic, while the number of active cases stands at 2,692.

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


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