Georgia: tourism on hold – int’l flights will not resume until August
Regular international flights to Georgia will not resume until August 1.
The Georgian government had earlier planned to resume flights with other countries and begin receiving foreign tourists from July 1, however, these plans have changed.
Even Georgian citizens living abroad, including students, will not be able to return to Georgia.
Since the Georgian government announced the opening of borders on July 1, many have purchased tickets for July, but their flights will be canceled.
The tourism sector was also preparing to receive guests as early as July 1 and had incurred expenses to prepare for the season. But now it’s clear that they will not have guests at least until August.
It is still unknown when international flights will be resumed and when the borders will be open to foreign tourists.
Economy Minister Natia Turnava says the state is waiting for the position the EU will take regarding the opening of borders, and will then make decisions. According to Turnava, the state’s priority is people’s health, so it will be ‘careful about tourists’:
“Separate rules will be developed for business trips and students. These will be regulations aimed at ensuring sustainable practices for public health, but at the same time they will be more simplified”, Turnava said.
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The decision to postpone the resumption of international flights has caused discontent among the population, especially Georgian citizens living abroad who want to return to their homeland:
“What a consistent policy, I’ve nothing to say! I bought a ticket for July 5th.”
“I bought a ticket and returned it, then bought it again and returned it again, how many times can I do that? I wanted to come see my parents in July, I took off for vacation. And now I have to cancel everything. I have not been in Georgia for two years and I will not be able to come this year either.”
“How long can they keep us in such uncertainty? A relative was supposed to come from Austria. For a whole month I’ve been trying to find out whether they should be quarantined and what the rules will be. I call 144 every day and I heard nothing. Now they have postponed the resumption of flights for an indefinite period,” users write on Facebook.