Message for U.S. Citizens: Georgia COVID-19 Update #15

Message for U.S. Citizens: Georgia COVID-19 Update #15

 

Embassy Operations: The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi continues to provide passport, citizenship, and emergency services for U.S. citizens, and emergency visa appointments on a very limited basis. Please contact us if you have any questions or to make an appointment.

Status of Public and Commercial Services: The total number of active COVID-19 cases in Georgia has continued to decrease since May 1, allowing the Government to ease restrictions even continuing to encourage everyone to use face masks and practice social distancing as much as possible. See the details below for recent changes.

FACE MASKS MANDATORY in Public Spaces! Wearing a face mask in closed spaces (such as shops) and on all public transportation (including taxis) is mandatory. A fine of 50 GEL can be imposed on individuals who fail to wear a mask where required. Business owners who do not enforce the wearing of face masks can face a fine of 500 GEL. 

Restrictions Lifted:

  • Public transportation including intercity transport (bus, minibus) has resumed. Trains will resume June 15.
  • Retail shops, including malls, restaurants, and currency exchange have re-opened.
  • Restaurants are now able to operate fully (not only outside seating).
  • Hotels may resume operations after inspection and permission from the Ministry of Health.
  • Up to 10 people are permitted to assemble in one location.

Continuing restrictions: 

  • Taxis (including services like Bolt and Yandex) are restricted to a maximum of two backseat passengers. 
  • All land borders remain closed to passenger travel (except for Georgian citizens returning to Georgia or citizens of neighboring countries returning to their home countries). 
  • A few towns/villages remain under quarantine. Do not enter these areas. If you encounter a roadblock, obey police or military directions. 
  • With a few exceptions, Georgia remains closed to all foreign travelers until at least June 30.

Coming to Georgia after July 1? The Government of Georgia is preparing to allow foreign travelers to enter the country beginning July 1, along with the resumption of commercial air traffic. As of today, they have not yet announced what specific mechanisms will be used to receive or monitor foreign tourists (in terms of screening, quarantine, health certificate, etc.), NOR whether any conditions will be placed on who can enter based on travel origin, nationality, or other factors.  The Government has indicated that more details about this will be announced soon.  

COVID-19 Testing “On Demand”: We have received some inquiries from U.S. citizens seeking to obtain a COVID-19 test for individual purposes, even for asymptomatic individuals. The Embassy is aware that some private clinics are available that can perform the test for a fee. We cannot recommend any individual facility or type of testing, but we encourage you to consult the doctor’s list on our website and make your own inquiries if this is something you need. 

U.S. Citizens who Overstay their 365 days in Georgia: In April, the Government of Georgia announced that foreigners who were legally in Georgia on March 14, 2020, and were not able to leave the country due to the closure of borders as part of the State of Emergency, may remain until June 30, 2020, with no penalty. We have heard no updates on this policy, but it may depend somewhat on the reopening of land borders with neighboring countries.

Flights:  The schedule of Georgian Airways flights for the rest of June has not changed since our last message. Please consult a travel agent or airline representative to book these flights or find out what connections are available from each of these cities:

  • 15 June /27 June: Tbilisi to Amsterdam* (direct connections to the USA available; see notes below)
  • 18 June / 28 June: Tbilisi to Vienna (U.S. citizens may transit Austria, but no direct connections to the US are available)
  • 11 June /25 June:  Tbilisi – Tel Aviv (NOTE: U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter or transit Israel until at least June 15)

Regular commercial service on some airlines may resume on July 1. Some airlines have seats open for sale, but most have not confirmed which flights and schedules will resume or when. 

*Transit through Amsterdam: Please notify us if you plan to transit Amsterdam with a direct onward flight to the U.S.; we can send your information to CBP and TSA in advance to help smooth your boarding and transit procedures at AMS airport. You will be not be allowed to depart the transit zone of the airport, even to collect/re-check luggage, but alternate arrangements can be made to transfer your luggage to your connecting flight. 

If you cannot afford to buy a ticket for flights to the U.S. you may apply for a repatriation loan from the U.S. government to purchase the ticket; please contact the embassy for details.

U.S. Travel Restrictions:

For assistance please contact:

American Citizen Services
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy Tbilisi
AskConsulTbilisi@state.gov
https://ge.usembassy.gov
(+995 32) 227-7724 / after hours (+995 32) 227-7000