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Georgia reopens borders with Germany, France and Baltics

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, July 9
Georgian Government’s spokesperson Irakli Chikovani announced on July 8th after the Interagency Coordination Council meeting that Georgia will unconditionally reopen its borders to 5 EU nations, Germany, France, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania after months-long closure caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The citizens and residents of the five countries will only be allowed to enter Georgia via direct flights, upon arrival the visitors will be required to fill in e-form, indicating their travel history during the past 2 weeks and provide contact information about the places and people they intend to visit while in Georgia. Those who have a history of traveling to non-EU high-risk countries for the past 14 days will also undergo mandatory testing or quarantine.

With their consent, or in case of temperature exceeding 37 degrees as a result of thermal screening at the border, they will be tested for PCR at the airport.

During each stay in Georgia, during their stay in the country, they will be in proactive communication and will be taken care of by a specially created call center group.

The Government Spokesperson said Georgia reached an agreement with Lufthansa, the largest German airline, to conduct Munich-Tbilisi flights twice a week starting from August. Talks are underway with AirFrance and AirBaltic as well.

As for the rest of the countries, the Council took into account that several countries have opened their borders to states that are not on the list of safe countries defined by the EU.

Note, that on June 30th, the EU included Georgia in the list of 15 safe countries and recommended opening borders for them, which will be updated every 2 weeks. EU states make their decisions individually. Following this recommendation, the government is holding bilateral talks with the EU member states on the opening of the border.

Several EU countries will open the border to Georgia with some restrictions, and some are not going to open the border at this stage.

According to the Georgian government, Italy, Slovenia and Cyprus are ready to open the border on the condition of a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

At this stage, the borders for Georgia are not opened: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Malta, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. According to the government, a joint commission has been set up with Hungary to work on the restoration of traffic.

Georgia will maintain a similar regime with EU member states that have not opened their borders, and citizens of countries that have imposed various restrictions on Georgia will have a 14-day mandatory quarantine if they arrive in Georgia and cover the costs themselves.

According to the Georgian government, work with EU countries that have decided to open the border continues with the relevant procedures.

As for the citizens of Georgia, they will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine in Georgia after visiting the EU for any purpose. This applies to the five EU countries that Georgia unconditionally opens on the basis of a bilateral agreement.

"In order to promote economic activity in Georgia, business trips from all countries will be carried out smoothly in advance, in accordance with the relevant form and in agreement with the relevant sectoral agency." - The Prime Minister's spokesman said at the briefing.

According to him, the guests who come to Georgia on a business trip have the obligation to take the PCR test on Covid19 with their own funds once every 72 hours, or to pass the mandatory 14-day quarantine, as well as with their own funds. Chikovani says this does not apply to citizens / residents of the five EU member states with whom Georgia unconditionally opens its borders.

Yesterday, 5 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Georgia. The total number has increased to 963. 3 more patients were cured of coronavirus. A total of 841 have recovered. As of the morning of July 8th, 107 patients are being treated. 3903 is in quarantine mode and 202 under hospital supervision.