Starting June 1, Georgia will require all travelers from 95 visa-exempt countries to show proof of travel health insurance upon entry. The new mandate aims to ensure that visitors are covered for medical expenses in case of unexpected health issues during their stay.

Georgia Updates Entry Rules, Health Insurance a Must for Visitors

(Photo : Denis Arslanbekov on Unsplash)

Georgia Ensures Safety with New Insurance Rule

The Georgian government has introduced this requirement to enhance the safety of tourists and other visitors. Until now, those traveling to Georgia without a visa did not need to purchase travel health insurance. 

Travel and Tour World reported that the updated policy mandates that the insurance must cover at least €30,000 in medical expenses and remain valid throughout the visitor's stay in the country.

Travelers can stay in Georgia for up to a year without a visa. This flexibility makes it a popular destination for tourists from around the world. 

However, if someone wishes to stay longer than a year for purposes such as work, study, or family reunification, they must apply for a residence permit. This application is processed at the Public Service Hall in any of Georgia's major cities.

Authorities advise travelers to secure their travel health insurance approximately 15 days before their planned departure. The insurance document must be presented at the point of entry and should be in either Georgian, English, or Russian.

This new rule underscores Georgia's commitment to the well-being of its visitors. By ensuring that all travelers have insurance, the country can better manage any potential medical emergencies that occur, making visits safer and more secure for everyone.

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Georgia Faces U.S. Visa Restrictions Now

On May 23, the U.S. State Department criticized a new law in Georgia and imposed visa restrictions on key figures believed to be undermining democracy in the country. This includes those involved in enacting Georgia's "foreign agents" law and their families.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a review of U.S.-Georgia relations and expressed hope that Georgia's leaders will rethink the legislation. He labeled the law as stifling to freedom of expression and association. It mandates organizations receiving foreign funds in Georgia to register as "foreign agents," a move similar to a Russian policy used to suppress dissent.

As per The Kyiv Independent, the law, passed by Georgia's ruling party, Georgian Dream, on May 14, has led to widespread protests across the country. These demonstrations have turned violent at times, with police reportedly using water cannons and rubber bullets against protestors. 

President Salome Zourabichvili of Georgia vetoed the legislation shortly after its passage, but the party plans to override this veto.

In response to these developments, Blinken stated that the U.S. would impose visa restrictions on those responsible for repressive actions against civil society and peaceful assembly in Georgia.

Additionally, there are discussions in Washington about potential incentives for Georgia, including military support and trade benefits, if it reverses the anti-democratic trends. 

The European Union is also considering sanctions, with some members suggesting suspending Georgia's visa-free travel status and its EU candidacy.

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