The Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI), a local civil society organization, on April 15 said the Georgian Government’s newly-imposed “selective” entry and quarantine rules for Indian citizens and students are “overly harsh, unreasonable, disproportionate and discriminatory.”
The restrictions require any persons arriving from India, regardless of citizenship, to present a negative PCR test result and also undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense, even if they have received a full vaccination. Also, students from India are only allowed to enter Georgia by charter flight.
Currently, all vaccinated foreign citizens, excluding those arriving from India, are able to enter Georgia unconditionally. Meanwhile, non-vaccinated visitors from the EU, the U.S., Israel, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakstan, Russia, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan have to present a negative PCR test result, conducted 72 hours before arrival. Visitors from said countries are exempt from mandatory self-isolation provided that they take another PCR test three days after entering the country.
Citing Euronews Georgia, TDI said that 180 Indian students, who departed for Georgia a day before the new rules came into force on April 15, were placed in the quarantine without prior notice, costing them GEL 150 per day on average that they “cannot afford.” Also, 150 of the students had reportedly already received two AstraZeneca jabs.
The watchdog also noted that Indian students already faced a number of other hindrances, as many were unable to return to Georgian universities due to the epidemiological situation in India, financial problems, and uncertainties regarding travel to Georgia, causing them to lag behind the educational process.
Stressing that “additional disproportionate restrictions further aggravate their [Indian citizens’ and students’] legal and social condition,” TDI called on the Georgian authorities to replace the newly-introduced entry rules with “proportionate and non-discriminatory measures.”