Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze raised eyebrows with her tongue-in-cheek comments about “special Georgian genetics” being responsible for having two COVID-19 Green Pass documents. It was not immediately clear whether the Minister was joking.
Minister was grilled by the journalists on the reasons for which Georgia – in difference to other countries – plans two introduce two Green Pass documents – one for the international, and one for domestic use. Another controversy concerning the domestic Green Pass was that those who were cured from COVID-19 would apparently receive a permanent pass. The rules set for the EU Digital Covid Certificate, person is exempt from restrictions during the first 180 days after being testing negative following the recovery.
“In general, there is no other country in the world like Georgia, we are special in everything and thus, we are special with two green passports, termless passports — this stems from our genetics and our character,” said Georgian Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze. .
Noting that “we are all Georgians and I don’t think anybody should be surprised,” Minister Tikaradze said “it is important that the society gets used to important changes in the world step-by-step.” “If these changes are easy for citizens from other countries to accept, for some reason, this is more difficult in Georgia.”
“Considering the tense social, economic, and pandemic background, it is probably not a bad decision that our citizens will have more flexibility,” she added.
Deputy Chief of the National Center for Disease Control, Paata Imnadze disagreed, saying the decision about permanent COVID passports should be reconsidered. “We already have more than 5,000 cases of reinfection in the country. Recovering from COVID unfortunately does not guarantee you from catching Covid again,” Imnadze said.
From December 1, COVID-certificates will be mandatory in Georgia. Citizens and tourists above 18 will only be able to visit public venues such as restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, museums, gyms, and hotels, in they are vaccinated, recovered or provide a negative PCR COVID test. The certificates will not be mandatory for public transport or shopping.