Anti-lockdown rally by representatives of the hospitality sector outside the government building in Tbilisi on January 30. (

TBILISI, DFWatch–Amid growing discontent and irritation among the population, the Georgian government is lifting some of the most painful restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From Monday, February 8, public transport in major cities will be allowed to operate, while from February 15, the government will lift restrictions on markets, reopen cafes and restaurants, and resume classes in schools, PM Giorgi Gakharia said Thursday.

The easing, however, doesn’t apply to weekends, when all of those restrictions remain in force, Gakharia added. Also, universities and kindergartens will remain closed.

His deputy, Maia Tskitishvili, later specified that the ban on inter-city public transportation will remain, as well as curfew between 9pm and 5am.

The government had to ease restrictions due to their widespread unpopularity among the public. The irritation and protest has been growing both among business owners and ordinary people. Simultaneously, several unrelated anti-lockdown protest rallies have taken place throughout the country on a daily basis over the course of the last week.

The hospitality businesses even threatened an open disobedience campaign, saying that restrictions had brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. PM Giorgi Gakharia threatened on Thursday to severely punish those who disobey restrictions, not only by imposing huge fines but also by permanently barring businesses that violate rules from receiving any benefits from the state in the future, including the business stimulus package.