Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Vaccinated Persons Now Allowed to Enter Latvia Without Being Subject to Quarantine Requirement

The authorities of Latvia will now allow persons who have completed the vaccination against the COVID-19 to skip self-isolation when they enter the country.

In a press release issued by the Latvian Ministry of Transport, it was pointed out that all persons returning from a European Union or European Economic Area country, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom will be exempt from the self-isolation requirement.

However, the testing requirements for all those vaccinated still remain in place. Everyone is required to present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours.

According to the Ministry, this new measure, which entered into force on May 13, has introduced additional benefits for vaccinated persons, and many more advantages for vaccinated persons are planned to follow up in the future, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

However, everyone will be required to prove that they have completed the vaccination process with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organisation and that 15 days have passed since the shot(s) was taken.

Until now, the vaccination process in Latvia has been going smoothly, with nearly half of the population receiving two doses of the vaccine.

“Forecasts suggest that at the end of June, more than half of the Latvian population over the age of 16 may have received the first dose of the vaccine, while both doses of the vaccine may have received about 40 per cent,” the Ministry notes.

On the other hand, the self-isolation requirement remains effective for all the persons who have stayed in a third country. Based on the Ministry’s announcement, such a condition will apply in order to halt the spread of the COVID-19 mutations in Latvia.

Earlier in April, the country’s government decided to abolish testing requirements for fully vaccinated doctors, social care workers, and teachers.

Furthermore, the Cabinet of Ministers is expected to decide on the next upcoming steps that include more relaxed restrictions. One of the proposals of the Ministry of Health suggested that face masks should no longer be used in a work environment that includes up to 20 vaccinated persons in one room as the employer can take responsibility for the safety of its own employees by checking if everyone has been vaccinated.

Number of COVID-19 Cases Imported to Latvia by Air Transport Remains Low

Based on the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) figures, the Ministry of Transport revealed that only 0.15 per cent of the detected Coronavirus cases during this year were imported through air transport.

Even though the number of persons entering the country by this means of transportation has increased lately, the number of detected cases continues to remain low.

In recent weeks, the number of passengers entering Latvia has increased tremendously, from 2,450 arrivals recorded in the eighth week of this year to 8,270 arrivals in the second week of May.

Furthermore, it was noted that during 2021 an average of seven passengers a week fell ill with COVID-19 after returning from abroad.

“The proportion of Covid-19 cases imported by aircraft from abroad is insignificant, not exceeding 0.04 per cent to 0.35 per cent of the total cases detected in Latvia on a weekly basis,” the Ministry’s statement reads.

Thus, the number of cases imported by aircraft tended to decrease, confirming that the Coronavirus spread in Latvia is closely related to local transmission.

Nonetheless, CAA recalls that since March 2021, international passenger transportation to and from third countries was permitted. This initially raised concern regarding the risk of a possible increase of imported cases.

Previously, the EU Commission approved Latvia’s scheme to allocate €39.7 million to recapitalise the Riga International Travel, aiming to help the company recover the damages caused by the COVID-19.



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