Inter-Agency Coordination Council Approves Gradual Easing Plan of Current COVID Restrictions

The Gradual Easting Plan of Current COVID Restrictions has been approved by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council on January 22.

Decisions are based on the analysis of the current epidemic situation in the country and include cautious steps to make sure that stability achieved so far does not result in a significant increase of community transfer rate again.

Namely, restrictions will be gradually eased by taking into account the current epidemic situation:

From February 1, 2021:

1. Operation of the following will resumed in Batumi, Zugdidi, Gori, Poti and Telavi:

  • Municipal transport,
  • Schools,
  • Shops and malls;

2. Operation of the following will be resumed in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Rustavi:

  • Shops and malls from February 1, 2021;
  • Schools and municipal transport is anticipated from March 1, 2021 if the epidemic situation allows;

3. Open and closed markets in all cities of the country will resume operation from February 15, 2021.

4. Considering the fact that the average community transfer rate in a time span of 7 days is under 4% in Adjara, customers will be allowed to open spaces of eateries in Adjara from February 1, 2021. Current ban on wedding parties and events of various social nature will remain valid.

5. Restaurants and eateries in other regions, including those at hotels, will operate as currently restricted – via take-away and delivery services.

6. Kindergartens will resume operation, along with vocational training and higher education institutions as currently intended from March 1, 2021 and students will thus be allowed to auditoriums.

At the same time:

  • Current restriction on mobility will remain valid till March 1, 2021 and ban will apply from 21:00 to 05:00.
  • With an aim of compensating an increased mobility, municipal transport will not operate on week-ends during February 2021, while restaurants, eateries, malls and shops will operate only via take-away and delivery services; Fruit and vegetable markets, groceries, pet food stores and pharmacies will continue to operate as currently practices by complying with applicable rules.
  • All other restrictions remain unchanged, including those applicable to ski resorts.
  • Inter-city transport will remain restricted for a time being, until a further notice.
  • It is essential to wear facemasks and to manage the customer flow, queues and social distancing, which will be tightly controlled.
  • In parallel with eased restrictions and for curbing the viral spread, businesses will bear responsibility for testing their staff on COVID-19.
  • As a result of consultations with businesses and experts, mandatory protocols have been defined for COVID-19 testing in each segment of economy, which sets the minimum number of staff and frequency of testing.
  • Trading facilities of all types employing over 30 staff, including fairs, will be required to ensure at least 20% of their staff get COVID-19 tests once in a fortnight.
  • Eateries will be required to ensure at least 50% of their staff get COVID-19 tests once in a fortnight;
  • Systemic testing of teachers will be administered once in a fortnight.
  • Businesses will be admitted from today onwards to get registered at a designated portal of to have their staff tested for COVID-19 for gratis until March 1, 2021 within the scope of Intensive Testing Program funded by the State.
  • Proactive testing of patients with symptoms and system-affiliated groups continues with State funding, which will lead to a quick detection of test-positive cases and effective management of cases.

It was noted at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council that the prime goal of the authorities is to strike a balance between the human health and economic interests of the country.

Considering the above-listed restrictions, the epidemic situation will be assessed as of February 15, 2021 and if the average community transfer rate in a time span of 7 days drops under 4%, further easing of restrictions will be continued.

It was underlined at the meeting of the Council that each further step made towards easing will be based on a tight monitoring of epidemic situation in the country and detailed analysis, which will be performed once in a fortnight.

[Source: /Government of Georgia]

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