The Latvian authorities have revealed that arrivals at Riga Airport, from December 2, will be able to take a PCR COVID-19 test for free.
In cooperation with the E. decision,” stated the press release of the Latvian Ministry of Transport.
Moreover, the test will be carried out by the E. Gulbja laboratory, which will be available to all incoming passengers, including holders of vaccination or recovery certificates, TheSchengen.com reports.
All passengers arriving in the Latvian capital from the Schengen area countries can take their tests in Hall E, upon exiting the terminal. While travelers from third countries can take the test in Area C before border control.
These points will be available for most of the day, but testing can be taken at the E. Gulbja Laboratory branch on the second floor of the airport when closed.
>> Traveling to Latvia during COVID-19: What you need to know
In general, the entry rules imposed by the Latvian government differ from that of the traveler’s country of origin, which means that those coming from countries with low epidemic risk can enter the country according to more moderate requirements.
In other words, countries that are low-risk areas include Vatican City – which have been vaccinated, recovered and which are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements. On the other hand, unvaccinated arrivals from low-risk areas are required to take a PCR test 72 hours before traveling to Latvia.
Other countries in this category (third countries) are South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Colombia, New Zealand, Peru, Argentina, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Indonesia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Furthermore, the orange category, representing areas of high public health risk, includes countries with more than 75 positive cases within a 14-day period per 100,000 population.
Currently, all EU member states, Switzerland, the UK and all small EU countries such as San Marino, Andorra and Liechtenstein are classified as high-risk areas. In addition, Jordan, Chile, Canada and Uruguay are found in this category.
Fully vaccinated travelers brought back from these countries do not have to undergo testing or quarantine on arrival. However, people who are not immune are required to quarantine for ten days upon arrival in Latvia and present a test result taken prior to arrival. At the moment, it is not recommended to travel to any of these countries.
In addition, high-risk countries that threaten public health have been introduced, and are also considered virus-changing countries. This list consists of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Malawi.
Regardless of their vaccination status, arrivals from these countries are required to submit a negative test taken prior to arrival, take another test upon arrival, and undergo a ten-day quarantine.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Latvia has reported 5,901 positive cases of COVID-19 and 172 virus-related deaths in the past seven days.