US Embassy Alert on Travel Requirements & Restrictions in Georgia for US Citizens

The US Embassy in Georgia has released information regarding the current epidemiological situation in the country, entry and exit requirements, and restrictions in force in order to inform US citizens.

The alert reads: 

  • There is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Georgia and COVID-19 infections are present in all regions of Georgia. For a current count of confirmed cases click here.
  • Effective November 28, the Government of Georgia imposed new measures in an effort to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the period from November 28 through January 31, countrywide restrictions include:
  • Between the hours of 9pm and 5am, public and private transportation, including walking, is not permitted, unless it is for an essential need (for example, medical services). Exceptions to this restriction will be made for New Year’s Eve (December 31) and Orthodox Christmas (January 6).
  • Restaurants and eateries may provide delivery, take-away, and drive-thru service only.
  • Inter-city regular transportation of passengers, including by railway, bus, and mini-bus is not permitted. Travel in light vehicles (including taxis) is permissible.
  • Gyms and swimming pools are closed.
  • Conferences, training courses, arts/culture and sports events are either suspended or online.
  • Public sector services will transition to a remote mode of operation as much as possible.
  • It is recommended people over the age of 70 remain at home.
  • For further details, including on regional and date-specific additional measures and/or exceptions, please see here and here.
  • Ongoing restrictions remain, including:
  • Face masks are required outdoors, in addition to in all enclosed public spaces.
  • Many schools have moved to distance learning. Contact specific schools for additional information.
  • With some exceptions, Georgia remains closed to foreign travelers (see details below).

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No, with exceptions
  • Georgia has suspended entry into the country for most foreign citizens, with some exceptions (see below). This entry ban for foreign citizens applies to air, land, and sea borders. The entry ban includes foreign citizens who are legal residents of Georgia, or have been living and working in Georgia, or own property or business (without special status). The Government has not announced a date when these restrictions will be eased or removed.
  • Exceptions to the entry ban on foreign citizens currently include The spouse or minor child (under 18) of a Georgian citizen.
  • Citizens and/or legal residents of EU countries (other than Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia).
  • The following travelers who may apply for special permission to enter Georgia by following the instructions (online application and/or pre-registration) on the Government of Georgia’s website:
  • Certain business travelers;
  • Citizens and/or legal residents of five EU countries (Germany, France, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia);
  • Certain foreign citizens who seek to enter Georgia for a long-term visit of at least 6 months to work as a freelancer or as self-employed; and
  • Students.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No, with exceptions

  • Different rules regarding application to enter, quarantine after arrival, self-isolation after arrival, and pre-and post-arrival PCR testing apply to each of the categories listed above. More information is available here and here.

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes

  • The Government of Georgia extended the period of exit for foreigners until December 31, 2020. Foreign citizens without a residency permit who were in the country legally on March 14, 2020, have been in the country for more than 365 days, and were not able to leave the country due to the closure of borders may remain until December 31, 2020, with no penalty.  More information is available here.
  • The Government of Georgia has announced that the December 31, 2020 date will NOT be extended further and the Embassy advises U.S. citizens in Georgia to plan accordingly. The U.S. Embassy does not provide recommendations to U.S. citizens on how to manage their personal immigration status in Georgia.  However, one option may be to depart the country prior to December 31 and apply for permission to re-enter under an appropriate program offered by the Government of Georgia (for example, as a business traveler, remote worker, or student). Another option may be to pursue a residency permit.  Please note, however, that the Embassy is currently unable to provide notarial services in connection with a residency permit application. U.S. citizens may also wish to inquire with the Government of Georgia regarding possible penalties for remaining in Georgia beyond December 31. More information is available here.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes, see above
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes, see above

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, with exceptions
  • With some exceptions, anyone who enters Georgia is subject to a mandatory, enforced, 8-day quarantine in a government-assigned facility at personal expense. Quarantined travelers will undergo a PCR test, at their own expense, on day 8, and will be released from quarantine on day 9 if the test result is negative. A follow-up PCR test, at their own expense, will be required on day 12.
  • In the event a U.S. citizen tests positive for COVID, he or she will remain in (or be returned to) quarantine, and if necessary, will be moved to a medical facility at his or her own expense.
  • Different rules regarding application to enter, quarantine after arrival, self-isolation after arrival, and pre-and post-arrival PCR testing apply to each category of travelers. Information on exceptions to quarantine is available here and here.

COVID-19 Testing: 

  • The Government of Georgia has published a list of laboratories that provide COVID testing (in Georgian only). Click on ზოგადი ინფორმაცია and a spreadsheet will appear with a list of laboratories. The average fee for a test is GEL150-200 and the fee must be paid in advance by the traveler personally.
  • The U.S. Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes (limited)
  • Regular commercial air travel to Georgia remains suspended, though some flights are operating. The Georgian Government maintains a website that tracks incoming and outgoing flights available each month. These are not guarantees that any given flight will operate but should be used for traveler guidance only.
  • Exit from Georgia by U.S. citizens via land at the Sarpi border crossing into Turkey or by the sea on ferries from Batumi is possible. Travelers 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 the COVID-19 Country Specific Information updated by the U.S. Embassy in that country.
  • Is public transportation operating? No, but travel in light vehicles (including taxis) is permissible
  • Taxis are limited to three people in the vehicle: a driver and two backseat passengers.
  • Face masks must be worn in all enclosed public spaces, including taxis and public transportation.

Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • Violators of face mask rules are subject to a 20 GEL (about 6 USD) fine. Some exceptions apply for children under 6, people with disabilities, or who have health problems that prevent them from wearing a face covering. Individual violators of movement restrictions are subject to a 2000 GEL (about 600 USD) fine.

Consular Operations:

  • The American Citizen Services unit is currently providing only limited passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad services. Please visit our website for further information.
  • The Visa unit is currently providing only emergency services. Please visit our website for further information.

Local Resources:

  • (in English and Georgian) is the Georgian government’s repository for all updates and recommendations on COVID-19 in Georgia.
  • Call 112 (24/7) to request urgent medical assistance for suspected cases of COVID-19.
  • Call 144 (9 am to 9pm Georgian time) for other questions or concerns related to COVID-19. This is the Georgian government’s dedicated hotline where you can receive up-to-date information in English or Georgian.

Source: US Embassy in Georgia 

15 December 2020 14:40