World News

Georgia bans weddings, other ceremonies as virus cases rise

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia has banned weddings and other types of public ceremony from Sept. 10 and postponed theatre and cinema openings to contain the spread of the new coronavirus as the number of daily infections has risen, the government said on Wednesday.

Georgia reported 44 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 1,773. The ex-Soviet republic of 3.7 million people has reported 19 deaths, far fewer than other countries in the South Caucasus region.

But as case numbers have risen it has banned eddings, birthdays and other parties as well as funeral dinners, both indoors and in open-air spaces, Natia Mezvrishvili, the government administration head, told a briefing.

She said the planned re-opening of theatres, cinemas and entertainment centres had been postponed for a month to Nov. 1.

“We urge citizens to observe the rules as much as possible, show high civic responsibility, wear masks and maintain social distancing,” Mezvrishvili said.

Georgia has lifted most restrictions it imposed to contain COVID-19, reopening shops, hotels, restaurants and cafes, and it revived public and inter-city transport in June.

Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Hugh Lawson