The FINANCIAL — Since Georgia’s inclusion on the list of safe countries, and the issuance of the recommendation on the possible reopening of borders to these countries, the Georgian Government has been engaged in active bilateral negotiations with several EU member states. According to, Press Service of the Government Administration, agreements on the unconditional bilateral reopening of borders have already been achieved with several countries. The German Embassy in Georgia has responded to the decision of the Georgian government with a Facebook post.
Małgorzata Maria Gosiewska, Deputy Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland has criticized Georgia’s decision not to include Poland in safe countries list. Poland has less COVID-19 patients than Germany, she wrote in Georgian and Polish languages facebook post.
“სურს თუ არა საქართველოს ტურისტები პოლონეთიდან ? გუშინ საქართველოს მთავრობამ მიიღო გადაწყვეტილება, რომ გახსნის ქვეყნის…”
Germany, France, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania – the five EU nations – will be the first countries Georgia will unconditionally reopen its borders to after months-long closure caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Irakli Chikovani, Georgian Government’s spokesperson announced after the meeting of the coronavirus task force on July 8. The citizens and residents of the five countries will only be allowed to enter Georgia via direct flights, Chikovani said, according to local news website civil.ge
Prior to arrival, they must fill in a special online application, in which they should provide with the information about their travel history in the past two weeks, contact information and the exact place they plan to stay. In case of body temperature (37°C or above), they will have to undergo PCR testing at the airports. Moreover, those who have a history of travelling to non-EU high-risk countries during the last 14 days, they will undergo mandatory testing or quarantine. “Negotiations are underway with international airlines to resume air travel and regular flights with the 5 EU member states who have unconditionally reopened their borders to Georgia,” the Prime Minister’s Adviser Irakli Chikovani stated today, as reported by Georgian Public Broadcasting.
Chikovani noted that “an agreement has been reached with Lufthansa to carry out 2 flights a week to Munich starting in August. The government is negotiating with Air Baltic and Air France as well.” To encourage economic activities in Georgia, the business trip from all countries will be allowed without reservation, based on a completed special form and coordination with relevant sectoral agencies, Georgian PM’s Adviser Irakli Chikovani stated today. Chikovani pointed out that business visitors to Georgia are obligated to complete a PCR test for COVID-19 at their own expense every 72 hours, or complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine, also at their own expense. He stressed that does not apply to the citizens/residents of the 5 countries enjoying unconditional border reopening with Georgia, Georgian Public Broadcasting wrote.
The German Embassy in Georgia welcomes the Georgian government’s decision: ” We welcome the decision of the Georgian government to lift the entry restrictions for Germany. We hope that this is the beginning of normalizing travel with all EU member states. This is a priority of the German EU Council Presidency”, The embassy said in a Facebook post.
At this point, the following countries have not opened their borders to Georgia: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Malta, Finland, Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary. Notably, a joint commission with Hungary has been established to work on the issue of movement reopening. Some countries (Italy, Cyprus, Iceland, and Slovenia) are ready to open their borders with certain restrictions, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for arrivals. As for Georgian citizens, they, upon their return from any type of visit to EU member states, will be obligated to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, Government of Georgia stated.
Georgia was experiencing a tourism boom before the coronavirus pandemic, with five million travelers visiting in 2019, a 7% increase on the previous year. But the country was forced to close its winter resorts and place a ban on all foreign visitors back in March because of the crisis. Eager to revive its tourism sector, the country’s government had previously said it planned to reopen to international travelers on July 1, but this has been pushed back until July 31 due to a “rapid increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in the partner and neighboring countries.” Officials have brought in a three-stage “anti-crisis” plan, which includes a marketing campaign designed to promote Georgia as a “safe destination,” according to CNN.