I´ve been avoiding this topic as long as I could - I made mine web to write about hiking, not nasal swabs. Yet, I keep getting questions which are not always properly addressed on official websites (which should be your primary source of info and are listed below)- so I will write this, keep it up to date and hope that I will be soon able to remove it once and for all. Soo, what does a tourist need to know if he wants to visit Georgia these days? To sum it up:
If you are vaccinated:
Lucky you! If you have received both jabs of Covid-19 vaccine and have a proof (and you are not from India), you are allowed to enter by air. You just have to fill in a special application form (if you plan to hike, just enter the address of our first guesthouse as an accommodation address).
If you are not vaccinated:
This is more complicated. You can enter Georgia by air only if you are a citizen of EU country, USA, Great Britain, Gulf country, post-Soviet republic or one of Georgia's neighbours (see exact list on link below). And only if you fulfill following conditions.
1. You need to travel by air from countries mentioned above, transit included. Land and sea borders remain closed. 2. At the border checkpoint, you have to present negative PCR test no older that 72 hours. 3. On 3rd day of your stay, you are obliged to undergo another PCR tests at your own expenses. 4. You also have to fill in same application form as vaccinated visitors.
Everything above is posted on official websites and in more detail. I will just add a few more answers that are not that obvious.
Where can I take a PCR test?
Georgian government has published this Excel list of places where you can take PCR test. It's in Georgian, but useful also for a foreigner - just copypaste the name of your chosen city from place such as Wikipedia and search the excel file for it (cities are in column E). The list should be fairly accurate but still, if you want to take it in a city with limited other options, better contact your chosen lab beforehand to confirm that it works.
Most people will probably take the test in Tbilisi - popular places there include clinics such as Genomics, Med11 lab, Primelab or Megalab. Many of these offer also delivery service - you don´t have to visit them, they send someone to your hotel to collect the samples.
After landing, I want to rush to mountains. Is it possible to take PCR test also in villages such as Mestia or Stepantsminda?
At Mestia (seach excel for "მესტია"), you can get yourself tested at the local hospital, there are two working labs. The cost of the test is 150 GEL (quite a lot, but they need to send samples to Zugdidi for analysis).
In Stepantsminda (search Excel for "ყაზბეგი", to complicate things further, the author used an old name "Kazbegi"), there are also two working labs.
How much does it cost?
The usual price is 85 - 140 GEL - prices in the upper half of the spectrum usually include rapid results or collecting of samples at your hotel.
How long do I have to wait for results?
Officially, most clinics promise results in a day but in reality it tends to be less than 12 hours - so if you take test in the morning, you should get results on the afternoon/evening of the same day.
Do I have to self-isolate during first three days or before I get test results?
You don´t have to - while waiting for the PCR test or its results, you can do whatever you want. Of course, use common sense.