Municipal transport ban to stay effective till September 13, while learning in educational facilities can only resume remotely at least till October 4, Georgian authorities announced today.
The government decided to introduce new restrictions and extend some of those already in place amid the continued surge of COVID-19 infections. The country reported 4,778 new cases and 79 more virus-related deaths on August 31, while the number of active infection cases remains above 40,000.
The ban on municipal public transportation, introduced mid-August and initially set to last till September 4, has been prolonged to stay effective till September 13.
Also, at least until October 4, the learning in schools, professional colleges, and universities can only resume remotely, while preschools, including both public and private kindergartens, will have to stay closed for the same period.
The only exception applies to practical, clinical, and laboratory learning activities for fully-vaccinated medical students and academic staff, which can take place in person.
Starting on October 4, the learning in schools can move back to classrooms only in the areas (cities, villages) with COVID-19 test positivity rates below 4%, Education Minister Mikheil Chkhenkeli said in today’s press briefing. Those parents willing their children to stick with remote learning, however, will be allowed to do so, he added.
According to the Minister, the schools in other areas will have to continue remote teaching after October 4 as well. Whether university students will be allowed back to in-person classes will be also decided as per the epidemiological situation in the respective areas in October, he noted.
Schools in Georgia start teaching on September 15, while universities have their individual semester schedules.
Georgian authorities started to tighten restrictions in mid-August to contain rapidly climbing COVID-19 infections. The curbs already in place include banning certain social and sports events and restrictions on opening hours of restaurants while wearing face masks is mandatory both in indoor and outdoor public spaces.