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Georgia - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Georgia. Exercise normal security precautions.
Regional Advisory for the Russian border regions, the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and surrounding areas
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises against all travel to regions bordering Russia, including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as to the areas surrounding them. See Security for more information.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia (see Advisory)
In August 2008, serious fighting broke out in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in other parts of the country, including Poti, Gori and northwest of Tbilisi. Russia and Georgia have since signed a ceasefire agreement, which has eased tensions in most of the country. However, tensions remain high in both breakaway regions. Unexploded ordnance, landmines and explosions may pose a risk in those parts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia where military operations occurred.
Terrorist attacks have recently been carried out in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Terrorists typically use car bombs to target military and security facilities. Exercise a high level of personal security awareness at all times.
Canadian officials may not be in a position to provide consular assistance to Canadians in these areas, due to security concerns and travel restrictions.
Russian border regions
Avoid entering or leaving the country via the following land borders with Russia: Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia.
Crime and kidnapping
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Inadequate lighting in public places increases the likelihood of crime. Do not carry large amounts of cash and do not display signs of affluence. Keep your valuables and passports and other travel documents in a secure place. Muggings, home invasions, carjackings, sexual assaults and other violent crimes against foreigners have been known to occur.
Kidnappings have occurred in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and other areas bordering Russia. You should travel in a group. Do not walk or take the subway alone after dark. Vary your routine and lock doors to cars and residences. Avoid showing signs of affluence and exercise vigilance in crowded places, such as markets and public transportation facilities. Pay careful attention when your credit card is handled by others during payment processing.
Do not visit disreputable bars and neighbourhoods, where local law enforcement may be unable or unwilling to intervene. In one scam that is particularly common in Tbilisi, locals invite tourists to bars for food and drinks, and then force them to pay a steep bill.
Political demonstrations take place regularly in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi. Demonstrations may cause travel disruption, and can become violent without warning: avoid all gatherings and demonstrations and stay away from areas where they occur. You should also monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
Traffic accidents are a common cause of injury and death. Drive defensively. Poor road conditions, reduced driving standards, insufficient road markings and inadequate lighting create hazards. Avoid driving after dark.
Use only officially marked taxis and negotiate fares in advance. Do not share rides with strangers.
Exercise caution when travelling over long distances by train at night and alone. Do not leave the compartment unattended. Lock the cabin door from the inside.
See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Mountaineering and hiking
Do not travel alone. Use recognized groups and organizations. Accurate information on mountain conditions can be difficult to obtain, and weather in mountainous areas can be unpredictable.
General safety information
Standards of police practice may differ from those in Canada. The conviction rate is high, regardless of whether or not you are guilty.
Dial 022 for police and 099 for ambulance services.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from Georgian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of Georgia for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Georgia, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Tourist visa: Not required (for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period)
Business visa: Not required (for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period)
Student visa: Not required (for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period)
If you are planning to stay in Georgia for more than 90 days, you must obtain a visa before entering the country.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia (see Advisory)
You require prior authorization from Georgian authorities to enter the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As there is no official border control, you could face serious consequences, such as incarceration and fines, when re-entering Georgia if your passport has been stamped by the authorities of these regions.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - March 13, 2015 13:54 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Many specialized medical services are available in Tbilisi. Medical facilities are limited outside of Tbilisi. Medical services can be expensive, and immediate cash payment is often required. Medical evacuation, which can be very expensive, may be necessary in the event of serious illness or injury.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
An international driving permit is required.
Illegal or regulated activities
There is zero tolerance of drinking and driving.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Homosexual activity is legal but is not widely accepted in Georgian society.
Photographing military installations or government buildings may result in a penalty. Seek permission from local authorities before taking photographs.
To export certain artwork, antiques, jewels and items considered to be of national heritage, you need a special licence issued by the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Expertise and Evaluation
Georgian authorities strictly regulate the possession and import of prescription medication and some over-the-counter medication that is commonly available in Canada. Violating these regulations could result in deportation or even imprisonment. Carry a prescription and declare all of your medication on your customs form. You may also be required to obtain a certificate from the Georgian Ministry of Health. Please contact the Georgian Public Service Hall for more details.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Georgia. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services in if local authorities consider you a Georgian citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
Georgian-Canadian dual citizens may be subject to military service.
Surrogacy is becoming increasingly popular in Georgia, although there are no clear procedures or regulations. If you are considering surrogacy, seek advice from legal professionals knowledgeable in Canadian and Georgian laws and citizenship procedures.
The currency of Georgia is the lari (GEL). U.S. dollars and euros are widely accepted and exchanged for local currency; Canadian dollars are not accepted. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques (American Express, MasterCard and Visa) can be exchanged at international hotels or local banks. Avoid unlicensed exchange facilities. Tbilisi’s upscale tourist hotels and restaurants are increasingly accepting major credit cards and automated banking machines can be found in major cities.
There are legal limits on currency imports and exports.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Georgia is located in an active seismic zone. An earthquake may cause landslides in affected areas, and strong aftershocks may occur up to one week after the initial earthquake.
Heavy rains may trigger floods and landslides.
Tbilisi - Consulate of Canada
Ankara - Embassy of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.
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