Georgia introduces curfew

30 March 2020
Freedom Square. Photo: Mariam Nikuradze/OC Media.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has announced that the country is ‘practically’ going into a nationwide quarantine. The new measures will come into force from Tuesday at 08:00.

A curfew prohibiting anyone from being outside of their homes from 21:00-06:00 will be in place. 

All public transit both between and within cities and municipalities, including the Tbilisi Metro, will shut down indefinitely from tomorrow. 

Anyone leaving their homes must carry identification documents with them.

[Follow our live updates on the coronavirus in the Caucasus.]

Outside of the curfew hours, driving a private vehicle or taking a taxi will still be permitted, with a maximum of one driver and two passengers. The passengers must sit in the backseat. Car windows should also remain open.

Public gatherings of three or more people will be prohibited except in pharmacies and grocery stores, where a minimum distance of two meters between each individual must be maintained. 

Anyone over 70 will be prohibited from leaving their home. For those over 70 who live alone, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Health, and local municipalities will be ‘obliged to help’. 

Checkpoints will be set up in major populated areas throughout the country including Tbilisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, and Gori. 

Gakharia cited three recent cases of COVID-19 in which the source of the infection was not identified, as well as a medical worker becoming infected with the virus as the reason for the ‘stricter measures’. 

According to Georgian Health officials, 100 people have been infected with COVID-19. There are 4978 people in quarantine and 266 are under doctor observation in hospitals. Eighteen patients have recovered so far. There have been no deaths. 

In a briefing today, Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani also announced that 780 prison officers will be living in prison facilities indefinitely without leaving them. The new measures are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Georgia’s prison system.

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