The plan for the gradual removal of restrictions in force in the country was approved by the Interagency Coordination Council at today's meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, at the Government Administration.
According to the government, the decisions are based on an analysis of the epidemiological situation and include cautious steps to ensure that infection rates in the country do not increase after stabilization is achieved due to the restrictions.
In particular, taking into account the epidemiological situation, the restrictions will be gradually eased:
From February 1:
1. Municipal transport, schools, shops, and shopping centers will be restored in Batumi, Zugdidi, Gori, Poti, and Telavi;
2. In Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Rustavi from February 1, shops and shopping centers will resume work;
The resumption of school and municipal transport operations is scheduled for March 1, due to the epidemiological situation;
3. Open and closed markets will open in all cities from 15 February;
4. Considering that the average rate of 7 days of infection in Adjara is lower than 4%, from February 1 in Adjara, it will be allowed to receive guests in open spaces in food establishments. The ban on weddings, various social events, or parties remains in force.
5. In other regions, restaurants and food outlets, including hotels, will continue to operate in the existing mode - with delivery service.
6. Restoration of the work of kindergartens, as well as the return of students to the auditoriums of vocational and higher education institutions, is planned from March 1;
However, restrictions on movement across the country remain in effect from 21:00 to 05:00 until 1 March.
"In order to compensate for the increased mobility, municipal transport will not be available on weekends during February, while restaurants, food outlets, and shops will operate only using delivery service; Agrarian markets, food, and animal food stores, pharmacies will continue to operate as usual, following the relevant rules.
All other restrictions remain in force, including ski resorts.
At this stage, the work of intercity transport will be limited.
It is necessary to manage the mask-wearing, customer flows, queues, and distance, which will be strictly controlled.
In parallel with easing restrictions, to stop the spread of the virus, businesses will have an obligation to take care of staff testing.
As a result of consultations with businesses and experts, mandatory testing protocols were established for each economic activity based on epidemiological risks - minimum staffing and testing frequency.
All types of trade facilities, with more than 30 employees, including fairs, will be required to provide testing of at least 20% of employees once every two weeks.
It will be mandatory for food outlets to test 50% of employees once every two weeks;
Systematic testing of teachers will be carried out once every two weeks.
From today, businesses will be able to register on a special portal - www.labour.moh.gov.ge and within the framework of intensive testing, until March 1, with state funding, test employees for free.
State-funded proactive testing of symptomatic patients and systemic groups will continue to facilitate rapid detection and effective management of infection cases.
It was noted at the meeting of the Interagency Coordination Council that the main goal of the government is to maintain a balance between the health of citizens and the interests of the economy," the government said.
According to them, the epidemiological situation will be assessed by February 15, and if the average positive activity of 7 days decreases to 4%, further easing of restrictions will continue.
It was emphasized at the Council meeting that each step in removing the restrictions would be based on monitoring and detailed analysis of the epidemiological situation, which would be carried out once every two weeks.