Nightclubs in Tbilisi say they will continue working on January 14-15, and demand a ‘new, fair and non-discriminatory plan’ be developed to allow them to continue functioning during the pandemic.
Back in late December, Georgia’s Covid-19 Interagency Coordination Council held consultations with nightclub representatives, as a result of which an agreement was reached to allow events on December 31 and January 1 to go ahead in test mode, but with a limited number of people and strict Covid protocols in place.
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Interagency Coordination Council head Giorgi Gibradze said that following the events, further consultations would take place to allow nightclubs to continue functioning.
Night clubs have since complained of ‘radical measures’, such as the sudden cancellation of planned and announced events.
…nightclub [organisers] should be notified of these measures [within a reasonable time], as club members have so far acted in good faith to comply with regulations and new measures on health and safety regulations have not been confirmed yet. If new measures are to be introduced by the state, they should apply to all risk areas and not just clubs”, reads a statement published by the Cultural and Creative Industries Union of Georgia.
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Club Khidi representative Sopho Ebralidze said that the events of January 14 and January 21 have already been planned because they had received verbal consent from the government, and that they have already incurred financial expenses for these events.
We were given the right to hold the event every week and the resolutions on January 14 and 21 had not been issued yet, but we knew this because we had a verbal agreement and now two days ago we were told that there would be no [events]. The cost of these events is incurred. One artist is already in Tbilisi, another has bought a ticket”, said Ebralidze.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, nightclubs in Georgia have been closed for almost two years. Only a few test events have occurred.
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One such event was held in October 2021, based on the results of which nightclubs actively began to demand the right to resume events. In December 2021, several nightclubs still held events despite the restrictions. They said that they had received a promise from the Labour Inspection to hold these events, after which they planned several event nights. However, on the day of the event, the Labour Inspectorate fined several nightclubs GEL 10,000.
Finally, the government allowed nightclubs to operate from 31 December 2021 to 06:00 on 2 January 2022, as well as on 7 and 9 January 2022.