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Starting tomorrow, the government imposes new restrictions

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, November 27
The Coordinating Council has tightened the regulations in force in the country. Some of the new restrictions will take effect on November 28.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia says that the measures taken by the Coordination Council are aimed at stopping the rate growth of the epidemic. He said the public should not have the illusion that the 2-month plan will reduce the number of daily cases to hundreds or tens.

According to the Minister of Health Ekaterine Tikaradze, 'multiple variables' were used to determine what kind of restrictions should be applied to which city. Tikaradze said that the analysis of components such as the prevalence of the infection in each region and city, as well as the number of beds in the clinics and hotels, used to treat patients, the number of beds and the reserve that could be mobilized, and the number of family doctors across the country; population density, number of families, distribution of business and activity in each region made a specific map of the cities where the restrictions were imposed.

According to her, the reduction of infection cases as a result of the restrictions will not come immediately, the cycle of spread is the subject of analysis for the next 2 weeks. Minister noted that under strictly controlled restrictions, some countries achieve 87% reductions in infection rates.

Movement of persons from 21:00 to 05:00 both on foot and by transport, as well as being in public space, will be restricted till January 31. Exceptions will be New Year's Eve - December 31 and Christmas Eve - January 6. Regular intercity transportation of passengers, including by rail, bus, and minibus will be prohibited as well. There are no restrictions on cars (including taxis).

Restaurants and food outlets will fully switch to delivery/takeaway/drive service. Work out in gyms and swimming pools as well as activities of sports, art, and cultural circles/studios are not allowed. All kinds of conferences, training, cultural, entertainment events can only be held online.

In big cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Gori, Poti, Zugdidi, Telavi and ski resorts, Bakuriani, Gudauri, Goderdze, and Mestia, the following restrictions are additionally imposed: municipal transport will stop working; Shopping facilities (except for grocery, animal feed, pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, household chemicals, and hygiene shops and press booths) will operate only remotely; Open and closed fairs cannot work. Agrarian markets continue to function; Schools, vocational schools, and higher education institutions (other than medical education programs) are fully switched to distance learning; Private and public kindergartens stop working.

As for winter resorts, the work of hotels is allowed only for arranging quarantine spaces; Ski slopes and ski lifts are closed.

Nationwide restrictions will be eased 10 days starting December 24 till January 2: Shopping centers, open and closed fairs will work; The work of both municipal and intercity transport will be restored.

After this, from January 3 to January 15 holidays are announced; All restrictions imposed from 28 November to 24 December shall be reinstated; There are no public or private institutions operating, except for banks and strategic facilities and services.

From January 16 to January 31, the operation of municipal and intercity transport, shops, and open and closed markets (except weekends) will be restored.

During the whole period, the restrictions do not apply to public and private construction-repair activities; Banking and financial activities; Operation of grocery and animal food shops, pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, household chemicals, and hygiene stores and press booths; Delivery and withdrawal services; Beauty salons and aesthetic medicine centers; Car maintenance and technical inspection services; Home appliance repair services; The agrarian market. It is not restricted to travel by car (including taxi) as well.

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the restriction in Georgia was initially imposed under the state of emergency declared on March 21. At that time, only a few cases of infection were recorded, however, the curfew was introduced, most of the economic activities were banned, including the closure of cafes and restaurants, and the educational process was completely online.

The state of emergency in the country was lifted on May 23, even though the parliament had previously allowed the government to impose restrictions without a state of emergency. Within the framework of the transfer of these powers that the government imposes point restrictions that are similar to those imposed during a state of emergency.