The News in Brief

Georgia has crossed an uneasy threshold this week, with many spaces beginning to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown. All kinds of shops, open and closed produce markets and restaurants with outdoor seating areas returned to work on Monday.

All facilities must abide by the rules established by the Ministry of Health, including daily sanitizing, social distancing practices and the use of face masks.

In closed restaurants, tables must not be placed less than two meters apart, with no more than six persons at a table and no less than one-meter distance between them.

Shopping malls should use heat screening thermometers to check the temperature of clients and personnel before they enter.

Movie theaters, entertainment centers and food outlets in the malls remain closed.

"We call on everyone to wear masks to take care of each other and to maintain the potential of our economy's recovery," Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said at the Interagency Coordination Council meeting on Monday.

Marina Ezugbaia: Despite the New Covid Cluster, the Situation is Under Control

Marina Ezugbaia, the Clinical Director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital, has said that the epidemic situation in Georgia is under full control. Despite the emergence of the so-called ‘Saburtalo Cluster’, she added, all of the primary contacts have been detected and the research is ongoing.

"The rise of infections in recent days has spurred concerns that the epidemic situation could become unmanageable, yet current data shows that everything remains under control. The contacts of the so-called ‘Saburtalo Cluster’ have been detected and put into quarantine. If symptoms emerge, whether it be temperature, cough, or respiratory failure, the contacts in question shall be tested immediately. PCR tests will be used along with serologic checks. With the use of these two methods, there is a very low risk of overlooking an infected patient," said Ezugbaia.

Georgia Gets Ready to Host International Visitors from July 1

“It is important that all infrastructure, including international airports, is prepared in accordance with international standards and meets the epidemiological safety standards in order to make it as safe as possible for tourists and our citizens to travel,” said Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava.

Minister Turnava visited Tbilisi International Airport this week to check on preparations for the safe resumption of flights, with Tamar Archvadze, the Head of the United Airports of Georgia, and Levan Karanadze, Head of the Civil Aviation Agency.

The operator of the airport, TAV Georgia, has already met all requirements for the safe transportation of passengers at its airports, in full compliance with the international standards, having installed hand sanitizers, video scanners to measure passenger body temperature, marking terminals with distancing markers, and installing protective shields at registration counters to prevent direct contact between passengers and airport staff.

Georgia’s Revival Plan

On June 4, it was announced that the Georgian Prime Minister, in collaboration with leading experts Cambridge and London Universities, is working on Georgia's rapid economic revival plan.

In an economic policy videoconference with Cambridge and London University Professors Ha-Joon Chang, Christopher Cramer, and Jonathan D. Jones, the Head of Government and the world-acclaimed economists discussed ways to overcome Georgia's major economic challenges, like the current account deficit and the national debt. The meeting emphasized that one of the government's priorities is to ensure that post-crisis economic growth applies to each citizen.

Micro Grants for SME Budget Increased

The budget of the already successful Micro Grants and Small Enterprise Support Programs has been increased to 40 mln GEL, while the minimum threshold for grants has been increased from 20,000 to 30,000 GEL.

“This is direct support to those citizens who are ready to start a business even amidst the current uncertainties, to take on new projects, assume a certain risk and employ others. Everyone should understand that this initiative has not only social dimension, but a significant economic value," noted the PM.

04 June 2020 19:22