I recently visited Georgia as a tourist traveling from Qatar. Georgia is such a diverse destination and a perk of traveling there is that the entire country is picturesque and has something to offer. Nestled between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, Georgia is a beautiful country in Europe. Featuring a dramatic landscape with high mountains, lush vineyards, quaint towns, monasteries, and churches Georgia is ideal for any traveller.
If you are interested in traveling to Georgia- particularly as a resident of Qatar- this guide will help you to plan your trip!
I am linking my comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Georgia including accommodation options, navigation advice & my itinerary. If you would like a behind the scenes look at what I got up to in Georgia as a female traveller, please consult my Georgia highlight on Instagram!
Background information: I have a South African passport with a valid Qatar ID and received 2 doses of the vaccine in April 2021. Please check the exact requirements for your nationality by confirming with the Georgian embassy. This post was accurate & true based on my experiences traveling in May 2021.
Planning your trip
You will first need to ascertain which one of the 2 groups you fit into in order to see whether you can travel to Georgia at this time.
- Vaccinated individuals from ANY country can travel to Georgia as long as they have proof of vaccination.
You do not need to provide a covid test result upon arrival, only your vaccination proof.
2. If you aren’t vaccinated, you have to be a citizen/resident of 1 of the approved countries. You must fly directly from the approved country with NO layovers. Please check this OFFICIAL LINK for the full list to see if your country is on the list.
Neither group needs to quarantine upon arrival but unvaccinated individuals must undergo a PCR test on day 3 of their trip. Note: There are exceptions for people traveling from India who are required to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine.
So if you have citizenship from a country not currently allowed to travel to Georgia but you hold residency in a country that is, YOU CAN STILL ENTER GEORGIA.
You MUST fly directly from the allowed country- NO LAYOVERS- if you are unvaccinated.You will also need a negative result on a PCR test taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure to avoid quarantine. The result must be printed and in English.
Georgia’s e-visa service is temporarily suspended. That means if you want to travel there, you need to:
-Be a citizen of a country which can enter Georgia visa free.
– OR hold a valid residence permit from 1 of the countries that has a visa free agreement with Georgia.
You can check the official list HERE.
Note: Residents of all 6 GCC countries can enter Georgia visa free- regardless of nationality- provided your residency is valid. South Africans can stay in Georgia visa free for a year.
If you hold citizenship from a country which does not offer free entry into Georgia but you have residency in one that does, you will need proof of medical insurance. I recommend this insurance from AXA which I don’t earn anything from, just thought it was reasonably priced and comprehensive.
Many countries- like Qatar- now require a negative PCR test result before returning and upon arrival.
In order to get this done seamlessly in Tbilisi, I strongly recommend Megalab. Their staff speak English, they will email you the results after 12 hours and they’re centrally located. It costs 100GEL. Even though the results will be emailed to you, you will still need to fetch the hard copies from their premises as they stamp them. Check your details before you leave- if there’s an error they will rectify it immediately.
If you’re returning to Qatar, print your exceptional entry permit (you will receive the SMS as soon as you depart Doha) to have when checking in for your flight back to Qatar. Coming back ‘home’ was smooth with these items as well as my QID. At Hamad International Airport, follow the queue for vaccinated individuals and remember to provide proof of the vaccine. This can be your downloaded vaccination certificate or your vaccination card.
PCR testing at Hamad International has now ceased.
If you are not vaccinated, you will need a hotel booking unless you are medically exempt and are eligible for the 7 day home quarantine.
Just to repeat, if you need help planning your trip or wondering what to do or see, please consult my detailed guide to planning a trip to Georgia.