Important COVID-19 travel guidance
From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education. Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must follow all the rules that apply to you.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of COVID risks. You should check the travel advice for your destination.
Travel disruption is possible worldwide. Other countries may bring in new measures with little notice such as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules. Travellers should be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Georgia
Foreign citizens are not currently allowed to enter Georgia, apart from citizens or permanent residents of five EU Member States (France, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) who arrive by direct flight. UK citizens who wish to enter Georgia under this scheme will need to provide evidence of their permanent residence status at the airport. The ban also applies to foreigners with Georgian residence permits.
There are two work-related schemes for foreign citizens from other countries to enter Georgia:
Business trips by citizens of any country will be allowed if a permit is obtained. If applicable, you should complete the relevant form to apply for entry.
“Work from Georgia” scheme is available to citizens from 95 countries, including the UK, who want to work from Georgia remotely. If applicable, you should complete the relevant application form. Conditions apply, including a minimum salary level of $2,000 a month, the ability to pay Georgian taxes, and health insurance.
You can find further information on current entry rules on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Most foreign arrivals will be placed in mandatory 8-day quarantine, followed by an antigen rapid test. If the antigen test is inconclusive, this will be followed by a PCR. If this test is negative, you will be able to leave quarantine but will have to take another PCR test on the 12th day. Those on an approved business permit have the option to take a PCR test every 72 hours instead of quarantine. Tests and quarantine will be at your own expense. You should carry additional supplies of necessary medication in carry-on luggage.
For those with access to their own accommodation in Georgia it may be possible to self-isolate at home, rather than enter a quarantine hotel designated by the health authorities. If you wish to do this you will need to fill in the relevant form in advance. A call centre will be in active communication with foreign nationals arriving in Georgia for the duration of their stay.
The government has not announced a date for re-opening Georgia’s land and air borders but has said the tourism sector won’t be relaunched in 2020.
Entry permits and extensions
The Georgian authorities recognise that some non-Georgian residents may be unable to renew their entry permits in due time due to border closures. The Government has announced that foreigners legally in Georgia up to 14 March but then unable to leave because of COVID-19 can remain until 31 December 2020 if their overstay was caused by one of the following circumstances, which must be documented:
- if the state of citizenship of the person was included in the high risk zone for the relevant period
- if border restrictions were imposed by the relevant state
- if the person was in hospital, quarantine or self-isolation due to health conditions
- if the person was not able to leave the country due to flight cancellation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the British Embassy that if you were legally in Georgia by 14 March and wish to renew your stay without applying for a residence card, you will need to book an appointment at a Public Service House.
You should attend your appointment with a Georgian-speaker if needed as you will need to make your renewal application and be interviewed in Georgian. Your application must include the reason why you could not renew your visa in time or renew it on-line during the State of Emergency. The fee is 50 lari (approx. £13). The Public Service House will review the case and make a decision within three days on whether, and if so, for how long to renew your visa.
If you meet the requirements to apply for a Georgian Residence Permit such as working or studying, you can book an appointment at a Public Service House to start the procedure.
If you are in Georgia for more than 183 days and take up any form of paid employment, you are automatically liable for income tax and must inform the Revenue Service of your employment, whether you have registered as officially resident or not. Non-compliance will be fined.
In consideration of the difficulty of renewing UK passports during coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the Georgian authorities will recognise the validity of the following UK passports for residence and visa purposes until the UK Government informs otherwise:
- a UK passport that has expired since 6 January 2020 or has less than six months’ validity when presented to Georgian authorities will now be recognised as expiring on 31 December 2021 The UK Government has confirmed that it will continue to recognise any British national holding such passports as British under international law.
- these amendments apply to those holding the following passports - British Citizen, British National (Overseas), British Protected Person, British Overseas Citizen and British Subject.
The recognition of UK passport extensions only applies where you need a valid passport to reside in Georgia or when applying for an appropriate visa or residence permit.
If your passport has expired and you need to leave Georgia, you will need to apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) through the British Embassy in Tbilisi. ETDs meet international standards for travel documents which are set by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and guarantees British nationals will be allowed to travel by airlines and other transport providers and by national authorities.
Regular entry requirements
British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Georgia for visits of up to one year. If you wish to stay for longer, you’ll need to apply for a long term visa. Contact the Embassy of Georgia in London or visit the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more details on entry requirements.
If you’re living in Georgia you should contact the Justice House or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for advice.
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
Make sure you have a valid travel insurance policy as you may be asked to provide evidence of this by your airline at check-in or by the immigration authorities upon arrival in Georgia. You may face difficulties if you cannot provide evidence of valid travel insurance.
Travelling with medicines
Georgia has a very strict anti-drugs policy, which can also cover prescription and non-prescription drugs or medicines, otherwise commonly available in the UK and the European Union. For example, non-prescription medicines containing codeine are illegal in Georgia. This can cause serious problems for travellers and in some cases lead to administrative and criminal proceedings. Before travelling, check Georgia’s medication importation regulations on the Ministry of Health website
If you intend to travel with prescription medicine, you must carry a doctor’s prescription and ideally the original packaging. See Health
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Georgia.