Georgia, a country straddling both Europe and Asia, becomes the first nation to allow vaccinated tourists to enter with no testing, quarantines, or other restrictions, leading the way in the new era of travel.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that starting February 1, 2021, all international tourists who wish to enter Georgia by air may now do so, as long as they have received both doses of their Covid-19 vaccine and can provide their certificate of proof.
Vaccinated Tourists Will Have Un-Restricted Entry
Georgia is the first country to fully remove entry restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers.
While a handful of other countries have amended their requirements to recognize or include vaccinated passengers, arrivals still have to comply with pre-flight testing, testing on arrival, or in some cases quarantines.
Seychelles for example is allowing in vaccinated passengers from all nations, but they still need to bring a negative PCR test. Romania has removed the quarantine period for vaccinated travelers, but only allowing inoculated visitors from within the EU. Cyprus plans to allow vaccinated passengers in without any restrictions but doesn’t plan to start the program until March 1, 2021.
Georgia’s quick pivot has made them the global front-runner for vaccination-friendly destinations.
Additional Restrictions Removed For Specific Countries
Additional changes are coming for entry into Georgia starting February 1, 2021, which will also favor un-vaccinated travelers from certain countries.
Travelers who are un-vaccinated from all of the European Union, Switzerland, Israel, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will be able to enter Georgia with the following protocols:
- Bring proof of a negative PCR test, performed no longer than 72 hours before arrival
- Self-isolate for 3 days
- Take another PCR test on the 3rd day, of which a negative result gives freedom of movement
Prior to this February 1st update, entry rules included an 8-day quarantine with no option to test out early. Now passengers can test to release on day 3, making isolation 5 days shorter.
Another change was the addition of non-EU nations. Prior to this modification, only 18 EU nations were being permitted entry into Georgia. Now the rest of the EU nations, plus Switzerland, Israel, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will be allowed to enter.
Flight Ban Lifts
Since May 2020, Georgia has had an international flight ban in place for most of the world, with the exception of a few European and Asia airports, mostly to allow essential travelers passage into the country.
On February 1, 2021 Georgia will remove the general flight ban, allowing multiple airlines to resume flights, harmonizing with their new relaxed entry requirements.
The Minister of Economy, Natia Turnava stated:
“Starting on Feb. 1, we consider it possible for the restrictions on regular flights to be lifted, and to allow all airlines that used to fly in Georgia or want to do so to operate,”
Throughout the remainder of winter and into spring, eager travelers will likely find more availability of flights into Georgia as demand increases.
Current Situation in Georgia
While Georgia is making dramatic changes to its entry requirements, there are still many restrictions in place within the country. All visitors should be aware that:
- A curfew is in effect from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am daily
- Masks are mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces
- Restaurants are open for take-away, delivery or drive-thru (except in Adjara where some are open for dine-in outdoor seating only)
- Shopping malls, schools, and stores will be open with limited capacity and social distancing starting Feb 1st
- Public transport will resume in a staged process between Feb-March depending on area/city
Digital Nomad Program in Georgia
Georgia isn’t only leading with their new vaccine entry requirements, but they are one of the first nations to provide visas for digital nomads, attracting remote workers to book extended stays.
The nation’s digital nomad visa program “Remotely From Georgia’ is currently allowing visitors from many countries (like the USA and Canada) to stay and legally work their online businesses for at least 180 days and up to 1 year.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories