Georgia bans foreigners from entering country over coronavirus

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia on Monday imposed a two-week ban on all foreigners entering the country starting on March 18 in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Georgia has reported 33 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Two patients have recovered while 637 people with suspected infections remain in quarantine, authorities said.

The prime minister’s spokesman, Irakli Chikovani, said in announcing the ban on entry for foreign citizens that Georgian nationals could return from abroad on Georgian Airways or Turkish Airlines.

He said that all winter resorts in Georgia would also be closed while restaurants, cafes and bars were advised to shut their doors and shift to home deliveries.

The government in neighboring Armenia could declare a state of emergency later on Monday over coronavirus concerns, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said. Armenia has reported 30 cases so far, one of whom has has recovered, and more than 300 people with suspected infections in quarantine.

Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Writing by Alexander Marrow and Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Heinrich