Georgia is gradually removed restrictions, becoming more and more like a tourism-oriented country.

If, as of March 1, restaurants did not work in the country (only for take-out), now all this is in effect. Almost the last limitation, which has not yet been removed, is the requirement to wear masks not only indoors and in transport, but also on the street.

It is highly likely that the curfew, which runs from 9 pm to 5 am, will be removed in April. The government is already planning to consider revising this limitation as well.

Another requirement for tourists in some countries is the need to retest for COVID, which must be done on the third day of stay in Georgia. For those who have completed both stages of vaccination in their home country, testing requirements are optional.

For those in need, testing should not be a problem – more than eight dozen laboratories operate across the country where such tests are done. The cost of the test is about $ 30-35. The recovery of tourism is forcing laboratories to be closer to the consumer .

To receive papers with the result, it is not necessary to go to the laboratory the next day. When leaving Georgia, it is enough to show a letter (SMS) from the laboratory with the test – the main thing is that it is negative.

 

The Inter-Agency Coordination Council has introduced new rules and conditions for entering Georgia. Starting from 1 February 2021, the following regulations apply:

Entry rules for COVID-19 vaccinated visitors

Citizens of all countries, traveling by air from any country may enter Georgia if they present the document confirming the full course (two doses) of any COVID-19 vaccination at the border checkpoints of Georgia.

Entry rules for non-vaccinated visitors

Georgian nationals:

1) Georgian nationals presenting the negative result of the PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior the visit, will be subject to either 8-day self-isolation or to optional PCR examination at their own expense on the 3rd day of their stay in Georgia. If self-isolation is not possible, he/she will be subject to mandatory quarantine;

2) If Georgian national fails to submit the document confirming the PCR examination at the border, he/she will be placed in self-isolation for 8 days, and if self-isolation is not possible, he/she will be subject to mandatory quarantine;

All individuals who have travelled to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland within the last 14 days will be placed in mandatory quarantine for 12 days.

For foreigners:

Citizens and residence permit holders of the following states may enter Georgia by air under the conditions mentioned bellow:

European Union Member States

Israel

Swiss Confederation

Kingdom of Norway

United States of America

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Qatar

United Arab Emirates

Kingdom of Bahrein

Republic of Turkey

For entering Georgia, they must comply with the following conditions:

They must travel by air directly from the countries mentioned above, including transit travel through third countries; (Land and Sea borders remain closed).

At the border checkpoint of Georgia they must present PCR-examination certificate conducted during 72 hours prior to travel to Georgia;

On the 3rd day of their stay, they are obliged to undergo PCR-examination at their own expense;

Before crossing the state border, they must complete the special application form, indicating the travel history of the last 14 days, contact details (address, phone number, email etc.)

stop-COVID-19

Georgian government presented a plan to remove some of the restrictions and vaccinations against Covid-19

 

According to government decision, certain COVID-19 restrictions will be extended in some of the largest cities through March 1, while rules will be eased as planned in some others. The nationwide curfew – 21:00 to 05:00 – will also be prolonged to March 1.

Both public transport and schools will remain closed in the  large cities  until March 1. Since February 1, all kinds of shops and shopping malls will reopen in the cities, while open and closed marketplaces will also be back to work starting February 15.

Students will return to physical attendance at preschools and higher education facilities nationwide starting March 1. In addition, the ban on intercity public transportation, gyms, swimming pools, as well as the restrictions in place in Georgia’s ski resorts – originally set to open on February 1 – have been kept in effect until further notice.

To prevent the spread of the virus amid easing restrictions, the government has developed a testing protocol for each area. In particular:

  • All types of retail facilities with more than 30 employees, including markets, will be required to provide testing of at least 20% of employees within two weeks;
  • For catering facilities, this requirement will affect at least 50% of employees;
  • In parallel with the opening of schools – the state will provide testing of teachers once every two weeks.

Business enterprises will be able to register on a special portal and under the intensive testing program, until March 1, with state funding, to test their employees in accordance with the protocol.

Georgia’s national COVID-19 vaccination plan only allows using vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, or either of the top 37 national regulatory bodies. This condition, as per  today, implies only Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca and Moderna  will be permitted for the national vaccination plan.

The stage 1a of the plan, spanning first five weeks of vaccine rollout, foresees vaccination of 65% of all medical personnel. 60% of beneficiaries and employees of long-term care facilities, and 60% of senior citizens over 75 will also be vaccinated at this stage.

Under the next 1b stage, 60% of those between 65-74, will get their vaccine jabs. Essential service providers and  persons belonging to 55-64 age group, representing 60% of their respective target groups, are set to follow in the 2a stage. In the 2b stage, persons with chronic illnesses from 18-54 group, are expected to follow suit. 60% of the remainder of the population  will be vaccinated during the third and final stage of the national plan.

2021

Dear Travelers
The tourist company “Georgia Voyage”, our whole team, wishes you a happy 2021 year and a Merry Christmas!
During this new year, we wish you to travel even more often, further and more interesting, wish many positive emotions, so that they are sufficient for the whole year.
May this year bring you lots of happiness, good luck, smiles, warmth and light. May all your dreams of adventure always match your abilities.
2020 was full of complications. Yet this is exactly the case when hardships made all of us stronger. We had no other choice but to get greater – literally every day.
In the parting year we all were facing the most complex challenges with dignity; more new cooperative projects were implemented; we were growing professionally
We also congratulate our colleagues on New Year and Christmas!
We wish you successful sales, stability in the tourism market and financial growth.
Happy new year !
Respectfully and cordially, the staff of the tourist company “Georgia Voyage”

Georgia has set itself apart  with its relatively low number of reported cases and deaths from coronavirus.  Georgia was one of the first countries in the region to introduce various prohibitions and restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions began on January 29, when Georgia cut off flights to China, where the infection was already in full swing.  Then followed Iran and Italy, and on March 18 the borders of Georgia were completely closed to foreigners.

On March 2, when only three cases of coronavirus infection were detected in the country, schools and kindergartens were closed. Two days later, the educational process was stopped at universities.

Since March 16, when there were 33 cases in the country, the movement of public transport was limited, restaurants and cafes, shopping centers and other entertainment facilities were closed.

On March 21, when the reported number of cases reached 48, the country declared a state of emergency. Public transport and train railway travel both completely shut down, and the number of people allowed in a private car or taxi at one time was limited to three. Any gatherings of more than three people was prohibited.

The curfew is in effect from nine in the evening until six in the morning, which means that people are prohibited from going outside during this time.

Several cities and municipal regions have periodically been put on lockdown during the quarantine.

Many are pleased with the government’s work, as it successfully extended the containment period of the epidemic.

Georgian health workers have  earned applause from residents who are locked in their homes. Health experts, including critics of the government, believe that the first stage of the fight against the virus in the country went very well and that Georgia was able to prolong this period as much as possible, which is very important.

Specialists believe that there were three main factors involved in the success of the first stage:

  1. Georgia took the threat seriously from the very beginning and did not hold out hopes that this was just another “common flu.” The country immediately started taking measures to protect its citizens from the epidemic.
  2. Throughout the process, members of the government faded into the background, including Minister of Health. The government entrusted this process to epidemiologists and specialists from the Center for Disease Control.
  3. Very important factor is the Lugar Laboratory. The laboratory has demonstrated its importance in the field of public safety during the crisis.

This laboratory is where PCR testing for coronavirus is being carried out. The preparedness of the modern lab played a crucial role in prolonging the containment stage of the epidemic. Receiving and processing a sample takes only 4-5 hours, and the result is extremely accurate, with practically no chance of error.

“Georgia is a leader in terms of response, and I think that Georgians should be very proud of the fact that the Center for Disease Control and the Lugar Laboratory have been successful in making public health one of the top priorities. This is very impressive,” said Kelly Degnan, US ambassador to Georgia.

Monde

Dear Travelers, Colleagues and Partners

Due to the current situation in the world with the COVID-19 virus, we are forced to temporarily suspend our trips, but we assure you that as soon as the opportunity arises, we will resume our activities. Our company is forced to do this for the sake of general security.

We take all the precautions recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the virus and not to put your health at risk while traveling. We hope for your understanding as this situation has affected everyone, and the whole world now lives in difficult conditions.

In order to resolve issues related to tour packages already purchased, our company will ensure the reissuance of gift vouchers, instead of those already issued. These vouchers will be valid for 1 year and will be issued to those who prefer to transfer – rather than cancel – booked tourist trips.

We return money for trips that failed because of the coronavirus and express confidence that you will always be with us, that the desire to travel, the desire to travel will not disappear among our tourists. and we, as before, delight you with traditional and new tours of Georgia.

We sincerely wish you good health and success.

 

With respect and best wishes

David Abuladze

Founder and Director

Georgia – cradle of wine

Georgian wine as the oldest in the world fell into the  Guinness Book. World Records. In 2017, the oldest wine vessels (Kvevri) were discovered, with the help of which scientists were able to prove that Georgia is the cradle of wine.

Chemical evidence of wine, dating back to 6000–5800 BC (the early Neolithic period), was obtained from residues of ancient pottery excavated in the archeological sites of Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50 km south of Tbilisi in Georgia. The residues were identified as wine since they contained tartaric acid, which only occurs in large amounts in the Eurasian grape (Vitis vinifera) in the Middle East and the wine made from it. The detection of other organic acids (malic, citric and succinic), also found in the Eurasian grape, provided confirmatory evidence.

The wine residues were recovered from large-capacity jars, which were probably used for fermentation, ageing and storage. Prior to this discovery, the oldest chemically identified wine from Hajji Firuz Tepe (Iran) dated back to about 5400–5000 BC. These new findings are from about 600–1,000 years earlier, and indicate that wine-making and possibly viticulture were already in place about 8,000 years ago.

The very words “Wine” . … “Vin” … “Wien” … have Georgian roots. The semantic connection with the Georgian name of the product is “Ghvino”, which comes from the word “guivili” – “fermentation”. It is noteworthy that although in Georgia there are more than 500 types of national cultivars of grapevines, wild vines are still common today.

The discovery was made by Prof. Patrick McGovern, a molecular archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and lead author of the study “Early Neolithic Wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus”, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on 13 November 2017, and scientists from institutions in Georgia, France, Italy, Israel, Canada, Denmark and the USA, who participated in the joint “Research Project for the Study of Georgian Grapes and Wine Culture”.

In Georgia, more than 500 types of vines have been preserved. The oldest Georgian traditional method of preparing wine in large clay jugs – “Kvevri” in December 2013 was included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.

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New Year and Christmas are special celebrations in Georgia that are marked with great preparation and equal enthusiasm.

First New Year is celebrated in Georgia on December 31st and then it is followed by Christmas that is marked on January 7th. The preparation process for the New Year starts around 2 weeks earlier, the city is decorated and illuminated with Christmas lights, special fairs are organized at various places in the cities, while citizens flock to the shopping centers and market to buy presents for the loved ones and get all the necessary products to lay the New Year table in accordance to the traditions.

Monuments of material culture and written sources indicate that the roots of Georgian folklore go back more than 8 millennium BC. The Georgian people showed their artistic gift especially in the creation of stunning dances and songwriting, which is expressed in labor, camp and round dance songs.

Antiquities also include songs of greatness, appeals to the sun, the spirits of ancestors and many others, reflecting remnants of the ancient pagan musical culture and bearing traces of agrarian and ritual functions.

Folk music grew on the basis of spiritual chants, like church music, was transmitted from generation to generation directly through a living singing tradition and traditionally accompanied work, hunting, weddings, funerals, historical or heroic events, military campaigns, popular entertainment and dances.

Georgian traditional musical culture, both folk and spiritual, is primarily a singing art of amazing beauty. Its peculiarity is a complexly organized combination of many voices in a single sound stream that excites everyone who has ever plunged into it.

Each ethnic group has its own dialect and recognizable musical style with certain forms, structure and manner of performance. Folklore folklore contains a number of dialects – Khevsurian, Tushetian, Pshavian, Mokhevian, Mtiulian, Kartlian, Kakhetian, Rachian, Svan, Megrelian, Imeretian, Gurian, Adjarian, Lazian.

At the same time, polyphony is characteristic of all regions of Georgia, while solo singing is less common. It is the polyphonic singing, the multi-component musical structures and the diversity of local styles that distinguish Georgian folklore from the main monody styles of neighboring states.

At the celebrations called – “Supra”, songs and toasts in honor of the fatherland, love, friendship and traditional solemn songs — for many years — often sound. “Mravaljamieri” is an example of such a hymn which is saturated with unusual, tart harmonies and the melody of a solo duet against the background of other voices with its flight and freedom reminds of the inspiring nature of the Caucasus, broken mountainous reliefs.

In a modest and much rarer solo repertoire, three categories can be distinguished: male solo songs – labor, female solo songs, mostly lullabies, as well as lyrical, historical, heroic and comic songs performed by both men and women accompanied by various instruments.

Georgian song and dance music invariably arouses admiration among the listeners, it is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and it still hides many beauties for researchers and true connoisseurs. In 1976, the American space agency NASA, on the Voyager 1 space probe, sent the Georgian folk song “Chakrulo” into space as an example of the musical abilities of mankind.

In songs and dances, the soul of the people is best revealed. Everyone knows the rich traditions of the Georgian people and their love of dancing. Georgian dances are famous all over the world. Their grandeur and beauty do not leave anyone indifferent.

The tradition of Georgian folklore dance goes into hoary antiquity. The Greek historian Xenophon, who lived in the 4th century BC, says that among the peoples who inhabited the territory of modern Georgia, it was customary to go into battle with songs and dances. These ritual melodies, originating in both pagan and Christian traditions, have been preserved in Georgian folklore to this day.

Each dance is unique and shows different events: weddings, wars, life of mountain peoples and city life. It combines love, courage, competition and beauty. Dance is the life of the Georgian region in which it originated. So the dances of the highlanders are significantly different from the dances of the flat inhabitants. For each dance, special costumes are used that combine history and art.

 

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In the world, only 14 peoples have their own written language. One of them is Georgian. The Georgian language has a unique alphabetic system, one of the few that is used by thousands of the world’s most diverse languages.

Georgian writing  is considered one of the oldest alphabets in the world. He had three stages of development: in the third century BC. BC, the first Georgian alphabet “Mrgvlovani” or “Asomtavruli” was created in  III century AD J. – C. – the alphabet “Nuskhuri” and in the XIth century – the Georgian writing again, now in its last, was replaced by the writing of “Mkhedruli”. “Mkhedruli” proved to be the most perfect among all other types of Georgian writing, it acquired its final appearance in the 15 th century AD. The letters of these three alphabets, which designate the same sounds, are very different from each other.

As we have already noted, the creation of the Georgian alphabet, the Georgian historical tradition associated in the name of King Farnavaz ( III century BC), but the scientifically confirmed sensational discovery of archaeologists in Georgia, who discovered the country’s oldest inscription in 2016, has completely transformed the history of Georgian writing.

The inscriptions on the altar were discovered during excavations on Mount Grakliani, near Igoeti village, 40 kilometers from Tbilisi. At first, the age of inscription would have been estimated at 7 or 8 centuries BC. The date is set as precisely as possible. An American laboratory confirmed that the inscription was made in the late 11th and early 10th century BC.

This means that in fact, the writing appeared on the territory of Georgia three thousand years ago. The inscription has not been deciphered yet, but experts suggest that since it was made on the altar base, it is related to religion. The meaning of such messages at that time belonged only to priests. If it is proved that the inscription made in Grakliani  is an alphabet, it turns out that the ancient inhabitants of Grakliani began to write 200 years earlier than the Phoenicians.

The modern Georgian alphabet is based on a strict phonological principle: each phoneme corresponds to a single strictly defined grapheme. In modern Georgian script, 33 letters are used. In the 19th century, during the spelling reform, these letters were removed from the alphabet for which, according to the reformers, there was no more sound match in Georgian. 8 letters were seized, 5 of which belonged to the former Georgian and 3 were borrowed later.

Georgians view the Georgian alphabetic system as a unique national treasure and an integral part of national self-identification. All three types of Georgian script – “Mrgvlovani”, “Nuskhuri” and the modern “Mkhedruli” – are on UNESCO  Intangible Cultural Heritage List. (2016)

 

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