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Georgia Cancels COVID Green Pass System

The Georgian Government today canceled the nationwide requirement to present COVID Green Passes for entering restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues.

The move comes as Georgia struggles with the rapid increase in coronavirus cases, with record 24,201 daily infections reported today, and a sluggish vaccination drive.

As the reason for the decision, member of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council Giorgi Gibradze said the green pass system “lacks effectiveness,” amid the spike in the cases, considering the rapid rate of the spread of Omicron variant and its relative leniency.

Gibradze noted in a press briefing that the authorities also took into account “international practice” in making the move, but when grilled by a reporter he did not name a country that had also abolished the green pass system.

He added however that people will still receive green passes for international travel.

Individuals received a “green status” if they were fully vaccinated, had recovered from COVID, or taken a PCR test within the last 72 hours, or an antigen test within 24 hours.

In the same briefing today, Deputy Health Minister Tamar Gabunia suggested the green pass system had become practically obsolete amid the Omicron wave, demonstrated by the high number of reinfection and vaccines not being able to “fully protect” against contracting the virus.

She noted that in the case of the Omicron strain, the only way to know for sure if a person is risk-free would be conducting a PCR test daily, “which is practically impossible.”

The Deputy Health Minister also noted that the green pass requirement no longer had the effect of incentivizing vaccination either.

The green passes initially came into force on December 1, 2021, and were required for adults, 18 years and over, to enter both open-air or indoor spaces of food establishments, restaurants, cafes, bars as well as movie theaters, opera, museums, concert halls, gambling halls, spa centers, gyms, hotels and ski lifts.

Over the course of last week, Georgia on average reported more than 16,640 new cases daily. According to the latest data, active infections stand at 164,572. While the number of daily fatalities in Georgia flatlined, the death toll passed 15,000 today.

According to NCDC Georgia, only 46.5% of the adult population in the country — 1,335,856 persons have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the number of fully vaccinated persons stands at 1,221,340, making up 42.5% of the adult population. 8,371 persons were jabbed yesterday.

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

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