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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia
March 21, 2020

Location:  Georgia

Event:  Today, March 21, Georgia declared a state of emergency, allowing the government to take additional steps to minimize the risk of infection during the outbreak of COVID-19.

WHAT THE STATE OF EMERGENCY MEANS: All retail outlets in the country will be closed except for pharmacy chains, grocery stores, gas stations, banking outlets, and post offices.  Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited. Police will fine or detain a person who violates self-isolation or quarantine. Violations of the state of emergency provisions will be considered a crime and carry fines or the possibility of imprisonment. The government will restrict air, land, and sea movement into Georgia, except for cargo.  Public services will be subject to delays. The Government has the right to use private sector infrastructure or facilitates (e.g. private hospitals) for isolation, quarantine, or health care purposes; restrict, use, or task any private sector capacity; regulate the price of food staples and medicine;  revise legislation on education to reflect the current situation; and mobilize residents with specialized medical education. Courts have the right to conduct hearings virtually.  Law enforcement has the right to use force to enforce these regulations.  Currently, the State of Emergency does not entail curfews or full quarantine. Full details are posted on the Government of Georgia’s webpage (currently only in Georgian).

EMBASSY OPERATIONS: The Embassy will continue to provide citizenship and other services for U.S. citizens, including passports, on an emergency basis. All Embassy personnel and dependents have been instructed to limit their movements to the essential businesses which remain open (groceries, etc.) and stay in their homes to the extent possible. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from conducting official or personal travel outside of Tbilisi city limits.

TRAVEL TO THE U.S.: The Embassy is closely monitoring the situation regarding the severely limited availability of commercial flights for U.S. citizens who are trying to depart Georgia and return to the United States. We are exploring all options to address the current travel disruptions.   Please monitor the “Alerts and Messages” page on the Embassy’s website for updates on this issue.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

BEWARE OF CYBERCRIME: Remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19. Be aware that malicious actors may send emails with attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19 related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19. Refer to official websites for authoritative information.

Actions to Take: