Georgia Country Report
The COVID-19 pandemic will have a negative impact on the Georgian economy, which is increasingly dependent on the growing tourism sector. The government’s USD1.2-billion anti-crisis programme unveiled in April 2020 is unlikely to mitigate the risk of anti-government protests. The run-up to the general election in October is very likely to be marked by heightened civil unrest in central Tbilisi with opposition demonstrations causing business disruption. The breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not under central government’s control, present persistent security concerns, but the resumption of war with either is unlikely at present.
Terrorism risks stem from breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is increased risk of kidnapping, shootouts and low-level IED attacks near de-facto borders separating these regions from Georgia proper. As the anti-terrorism operation in Tbilisi in November 2017 demonstrated, terrorism risk in Georgia stemming from likely transit of North Caucasian militants fleeing the Islamic State's collapse in Iraq and Syria is slightly increasing. The limited outflow of radicalised youth from Georgia's Muslim minorities has largely stopped and those, who returned, have posed no security threats. Greater socio-economic integration of Muslim minorities, including Chechen communities in Pankisi Gorge, is likely to mitigate terrorism risk.
Opportunistic petty crime, including property theft, is likely to increase as unemployment soars due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Georgian economy in 2020. Law enforcement reforms reduced but did not completely eliminate the corruption in police. Foreigners are typically targeted by pickpockets and other low-level criminals in tourist areas, especially in Tbilisi and Batumi, but grave crimes targeting them are very rare. Overall crime level is also high in the areas adjacent to the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but here too criminals tend to target local population more than visiting foreigners.
The likelihood of interstate war with Russia over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is currently low. The Georgian government has unilaterally renounced the use of force to return these territories. The presence of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) on the Georgian side of the de-facto border with both secessionist territories contributes to the stabilisation of the situation. Georgia has been trying to normalise relations with Russia while pursuing closer relations with both EU and NATO. Relations with other neighbouring states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey – provide no cause for military confrontation.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The country is also periodically struck by floods. In June 2015, a flood killed more than a dozen people around Tbilisi.
Landslides can also occur following heavy rain, especially in the more mountainous regions of the country.
The climate, along the coast of the Black Sea is subtropical with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Inland, temperatures are cooler and winters are cold and snowy. The west of the country receives more precipitation that the east.
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