Irakli Chikovani’s Briefing on Restrictions Lifted and Still in Force after May 23 Print Version

2020-05-22

While a state of emergency continues in many countries, and the pandemic is still in an active phase, our successful joint efforts and the measures carried out in the country have enabled us to consider terminating the state of emergency and gradually lifting other restrictions. As you know the Interagency Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister has made a decision to terminate the state of emergency, effective May 23, that is, tonight after midnight. Accordingly, the curfew is also terminated. Still, given the epidemiological situation-as the virus is still here to force us to take active steps to stop the spread of COVID-19-it is of utmost importance to apply certain regulations in the country to ensure against risking the ultimate value of our citizens' safety, lives, and health. Fairly recently, the Parliament of Georgia adopted amendments to the Law on Public Health enabling the application of all restrictions authorized by the Government until July 15. This statement was made by the Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Adviser Irakli Chikovani during today's briefing at the Administration of the Government.

The Prime Minister's Speaker discussed restrictions lifted and kept after May 23.

"Effective ay 23, masks will be mandatory indoors public spaces, including in retail stores. Similarly, social distancing will be enforced. The quarantine has been lifted in the Bolnisi Municipality, with the exception of the villages of Mushevani and Geta where active preventive epidemiological work continues. The Tetritskaro Municipality will also remain under quarantine," Irakli Chikovani said.

According to Chikovani, the ban on more than 3 passengers in a car is lifted, remaining applicable only to taxi cabs. Also, all cab drivers are obligated to wear masks.

"The ban prohibiting those aged 70 and over from leaving home is also terminated. Because they are a high-risk group, however, we advise them to leave home only for essential errands," the Prime Minister's Speaker added.

Notably, along with the state of emergency, the ban on assembly and manifestation, as defined in the Law on Assembly and Manifestation, is also terminated.
According to Irakli Chikovani, only medical product export remains restricted in the country, meaning products essential to the fight against COVID-19.

"The following restrictions will remain in force even beyond May 23: serving food in restaurants, cafes, and bars, and hotel operations are also restricted, with the exception of quarantine zones, also trade in clothing and footwear, except for online sales; similarly, malls and marketplaces are restricted, with the exception of farmer's markets that are already operating, also athletic and cultural facilities and events, and gambling and prize games, with the exception of those in electronic form. In addition, some public services will continue to be administered online," the Prime Minister's Adviser emphasized.

Notably, the ban on gatherings of more than 10 persons remains in force, provided that such gatherings are related to traditional social events, such as wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, funeral receptions, and the like.

According to Irakli Chikovani, all business entities continuing operations are obligated to meet the requirements defined by the Health Ministry, and all food manufacturers are obligated to observe the recommendations given by the Food Safety Service.

"Restrictions on public transport remain in force, including on intercity public transport. The Interagency Coordination Council will discuss the termination of all these restrictions to make a decision based on the epidemiological situation.

The Interagency Coordination Council will continue working round the clock, and so will its subordinate operations command centers and the umbrella governmental hotline 144," the Prime Minister's Speaker added.

According to him, thanks to the steps taken by the country, Georgia has emerged as one of the first to host tourists. To that end, all domestic tourism-related restrictions will be lifted on June 15, and on July 15 Georgia will be ready to host international visitors, with relevant protocols observed, of course.

"As legal restrictions are lifted and a variety of restrictions are removed, it is important for each citizen to exercise high civil responsibility by observing all recommendations which will enable our country to bounce back economically as fast as possible and us to go back to life as usual," Irakli Chikovani addressed Georgia's citizens.

Press Service of the Government Administration