16 July 2020,   08:37
The New York Times responds to the next stage of lifting imposed restrictions in Georgia

The New York Times has responded to the next stage of lifting imposed restrictions in Georgia.

“Georgia will lift its lockdown in the capital Tbilisi and allow shops to reopen on Monday as part of a gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said.

He told a televised cabinet meeting on Thursday that a lockdown imposed in another large city, Rustavi, would be lifted on May 14. The country would reopen to foreign tourists from July 1, with domestic tourism resuming from June 15.

Georgia still has a state of emergency until May 22, which includes a night curfew, the closure of restaurants, cafes and most shops, the suspension of public transport and a ban on gatherings of more than three people. Grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations remain open.

Gakharia said retail and wholesale stores, except those selling clothing and footwear, would reopen on May 11, provided they were not located in shopping malls.

Tourism in Georgia was booming but the coronavirus dealt a savage blow to an industry that attracted millions every year. Five million tourists visited Georgia in 2019, 7% up from the previous year. International travel income was $3.3 billion last year and the sector"s share in the country"s gross domestic product was 11.5%”, - reads the article.