Message for U.S. Citizens: UPDATE #20 under COVID

Absentee Voting for the November U.S. Presidential Election: If you are eligible to vote, remember to register for your absentee ballot by August 1! Go to FVAP.gov for more info. Key links and FAQs are also available on our website here.

___________________
**Travel & COVID-19 **

See below for information on entering Georgia, departing Georgia, staying in Georgia, entering the U.S., and Embassy Operations.

DEPARTING GEORGIA

(NEW) Flights: Our understanding is that for the remainder of July, all incoming and outgoing flights are still considered charters, but additional destinations have been authorized. Beginning in August, some airlines including Georgian Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, LOT, Air Baltic, and PS Ukraine will resume regular commercial service; exact schedules will be confirmed later this week. Turkish Airlines has not yet confirmed when service will resume.

The following flights are currently scheduled and have possibilities for connections to the United States. Please check the country-specific entry requirements for U.S. citizens for any country you transit! The U.S. Embassy in every country maintains a COVID-19 webpage with entry/exit requirements and links to additional details for that country.

July 18, 20, 25, 27: Tbilisi/Amsterdam –

 

  • All incoming flights from Amsterdam are full through July 25.
  • Limited seats on outgoing flights are still available. Several options for direct connections to USA available.
  • When checking-in for a flight from Tbilisi, ask for your luggage to be checked all the way to a final destination in the U.S., even though they will not be able to issue boarding passes to check passengers all the way to the final destination (you will need to obtain AMS-U.S. boarding passes in Amsterdam).
  • U.S. citizens are permitted to transit ONLY to U.S., not to other Europe destinations
  • You MUST have an onward, confirmed ticket to the U.S. (not elsewhere in Europe); you will not be allowed to leave the transit area for any reason.

 

July 15:  Batumi/Barcelona (no direct connections to USA, but connection to IAD via LHR with overnight in Barcelona)
July 16:  Tbilisi/Kiev
July 17:  Tbilisi/Rome (no direct connections to USA, but connection to IAD via LHR with overnight in Rome)
July 18:  Tbilisi/Doha
July 19,23, 26, 30:  Batumi/Tel Aviv
July 22:  Kutaisi/Paris (no connection to USA without transferring airports)
July 18:  Kutaisi/Athens (no direct connections to USA, but connection to IAD via LHR with overnight in Athens)

(NEW) Travel to EU: We have received many questions about whether U.S. citizens living in Georgia qualify as “residents” with regard to the European Union’s inclusion of Georgia on a list of “safe countries” (with respect to COVID-19 conditions) whose citizens and residents are permitted to enter Europe as of July 1. We confirmed with EU authorities that this lifting of travel restrictions generally concerns non-EU nationals who hold a residence permit from a specific country; however, every EU Member State may implement this recommendation differently. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens in Georgia check with the embassy/consulate or national authorities of the EU country you seek to visit, to confirm how they will apply the definition of residency, before you plan travel there.

Exit via Land or Sea: The Government of Georgia confirmed that U.S. citizens may exit Georgia via the Sarpi border crossing to Turkey, as well as ferries from Batumi. Keep in mind that U.S. citizens may be subject to health screening and/or quarantine regulations when entering another country. Always check each country’s current policies on entry or transit before making any travel plans, using that country’s online guidance or COVID-19 Country Specific Information  updated by the U.S. Embassy in that country.

ENTERING GEORGIA

Business Travel: The Government of Georgia announced that business visitors from any country may apply for permission to be admitted to Georgia to pursue economic activities. The online application form is available in English and Georgian, and asks for information about the inviting organization. Business travelers to Georgia must undergo a COVID-19 test every 72 hours at their own expense or undergo a 14-day quarantine (also at their own expense).

Entry Ban still in effect: Aside from business travel and other limited exceptions (e.g. spouse and children under-18 of Georgian citizens), the entry ban for foreign citizens (including entry at the land borders or by ferry) is still in effect. This includes foreign citizens who are legal residents of Georgia, or have been living and working in Georgia, or own property or a business (without special status). The Government has not announced when this will be lifted.

Quarantine requirement still in effect: Anyone who enters Georgia from another country is still subject to a mandatory, enforced, 14-day self-isolation. The Government has not announced when this will be lifted. We have NO indication from the Government that this requirement will be automatically lifted as of August 1.

STAYING IN GEORGIA

(NEW) COVID requirements and restrictions: 

Restrictions Lifted: 

  • The Government of Georgia announced this week that indoor cultural events may resume, in accordance with Health Ministry recommendations, up to a maximum of 200 people.
  • All types of outdoor activities are now allowed.
  • Many swimming pools and gyms have reopened, after passing a health inspection.
  • Restaurants and hotel have reopened subject to periodic ongoing health inspections.

Continuing restrictions:

  • Wearing a face covering in closed public areas and on all public transport including taxis is still mandatory; violators are subject to a 20 GEL fine. Some exceptions apply for children under 6, people with disabilities or who have health problems that prevent them from wearing a face covering.

Foreign Citizens who overstay their 365 days in Georgia: The Georgian Government extended the period of exit for foreigners until July 31. Anyone who was in the country legally on March 14, 2020 and was not able to leave the country, may remain until July 31, 2020 with no penalty. We have not yet received any updates on this

TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES

Entering the U.S. 

  • U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) may enter the U.S. at any time, regardless of origin or flight route.
  • Visa holders, with limited exceptions, may not enter the U.S. if they have been present (including transit) in the Schengen Area or other restricted countries within the last 14 days, or are subject to another suspension determined by Presidential Proclamation. **However, the U.S. Embassy may grant an exception for some visa-holders traveling to the U.S. for economic, academic, or humanitarian reasons to allow them to enter the U.S. even after being present in or transiting the Schengen Area, U.K. or Ireland. For more information, please contact the Visa Unit at TbilisiConsular@state.gov. **
  • For all travelers, international flights are currently only allowed to land at 15 specific airports in the U.S. which are set up to provide additional health screening for arriving passengers.

After arrival: Although there is no enforced quarantine for anyone entering the U.S., currently the CDC recommends that all travelers from countries with widespread, ongoing COVID-19 transmission arriving in the U.S. should Stay at Home for 14 days after arrival.

Embassy Operations:

Citizen Services: The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi continues to provide passport, citizenship and emergency services for U.S. citizens. Please check the expiration date on your U.S. passport and contact us if you need to renew it, have other questions or would like to make an appointment.

Visa Services: We are pleased to announce that beginning July 20, we will resume limited processing of some additional categories of visa applications, including student visas. employment-based categories, as well as emergency travel. Please visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ge to schedule an appointment, understanding that we have a substantial backlog and must prioritize our resources.
The U.S. Embassy is strictly observing local and CDC requirements regarding social distancing, including crowd sizes and face masks. The health and safety of our staff and customers are our top priorities.

For assistance anytime please contact us:

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