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Coronavirus in Georgia, 18 - 24 May. State of emergency ends - what restrictions remain in place?


Photo: Nino Alavidze / Agenda.ge

The state of emergency and curfew regulations came to an end in Georgia on May 23, prompting fire-works and some Tbilisi residents to take to the streets in celebration after two months of strict anti-coronavirus measures and which entailed the closure of the country’s economy.

Government and health officials noted Georgia has successfully suppressed the transmission of the coronavirus to an average of just 5.5 cases per day in the week from 18-24 May (down from 8.5 the week prior), but called on the population to remain diligent and to continue observing hygiene measures.

Head of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze said that the pandemic is still far from over, and that certain restrictions will likely be implemented and cancelled on a rolling, as needs basis.

“We need to learn to live with the coronavirus, and that it will take us a long time [to beat it], and for some time we must follow certain recommendations. In some cases, we must repeat the severe re-strictions [we had earlier]...many in the medical community believe there will be a second wave, a third wave”, Gamkrelidze said.

PM Giorgi Gakharia says the government will begin preparations in the summer for the possibility of a second wave in the fall.

Though the state of emergency is over, a number of restrictions remain in place, and not all businesses are yet allowed to begin operations again. AmCham Georgia has compiled a list of restrictions that re-main in effect:

- the export of medical products necessary for the fight against COVID-19
- on-site service in restaurants, bars and cafes
- hotels remain closed except for quarantine zones
- clothing and footwear shops are restricted to online shopping
- malls remain closed, as do sports and cultural facilities
- gatherings of more than 10 people for social events are prohibited
- public and intercity transport remains offline
- international travel to and from the country remains suspended (with the exception of flights return-ing Georgian citizens)
- taxi drivers can only transport a maximum of two passengers
- schools and universities remain restricted to online activities
- face masks must be worn in shops and other indoor public places

Some restrictions have been lifted or lightened:
- private vehicles (excluding taxis) can transport more than three people by car
- curfew between 21:00 and 06:00 is no longer in effect
- currency exchange activities are allowed
- age restriction on movement has become only recommendatory for people aged 70 and over
- the ban on entering cemeteries has been lifted
- demonstrations under the Law on Assembly are now allowed.

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