Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Georgia bars entry to and exit from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Rustavi April 15-25 to combat COVID-19. Additional restrictions in effect.
This alert affects Georgia
This alert began 14 Apr 2020 15:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Travel restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Georgia announced April 14 that entry to and exit from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Rustavi will be prohibited for 10 days starting 2100 April 15 in order to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Freight transport and emergency workers will likely be exempt from the travel restriction. In addition, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has requested that Parliament extend a nationwide state of emergency to May 10. A nationwide quarantine regime, implemented March 31, remains in effect throughout the country. Accordingly, a nationwide curfew is in place 2100-0600, during which no person is permitted to be outside their homes, with the exception of critical workers as approved by the government. Additional restrictions in place as part of the quarantine regime include:
- A ban on nonessential travel outside the home
- A ban on travel between municipalities unless traveling home
- Suspension of public transport
- A ban on gatherings of more than three people
- A ban on individuals over 70 years of age leaving the home
- The requirement to carry identity documents at all times
- Closure of all nonessential businesses and establishments
- Establishment of checkpoints controlling movement in and out of Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Poti, Zugdidi, and Gori
These measures are in addition to previous restrictions barring most foreigners from entering the country. All persons arriving in Georgia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. The restrictions do not impact freight transport. These measures were introduced as part of the state of emergency declared March 21; security forces are deployed to enforce the restrictions.
All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
Government of Georgia Coronavirus Hub: https://stopcov.ge
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int