After considering the current situation of COVID-19 within the country and the increasing infection rates, the authorities in Latvia announced that the country has decided to postpone the deadline by which the country’s citizens are required to receive their booster dose.
Earlier in January, Latvia’s Minister of Health, Daniels Pavlots, warned that vaccinations with the booster syringe should be completed as soon as possible in order to combat the Omicron strain. At the time, authorities set the deadline for February 15.
However, as infection rates are increasing rapidly again, it has been assessed that it is best to postpone the expiration date because many individuals who would have received a booster injection are currently infected with the virus.
Those infected with the virus cannot receive another dose at the present time and need to remain in quarantine. Therefore, the Ministry of Health announced that this measure will not come into effect until March 1, TheSchengen.com reports.
Data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that Latvia has reported 66,096 new cases of infection only in the past seven days.
As for the country’s vaccination rates, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reveals that Latvia has administered a total of 17,845,828 doses so far. This means that 82.4 percent of the total adult population has completed the initial vaccination, and another 65.2 percent have already received an additional dose of vaccine.
When it comes to foreigners, the authorities have made it clear that different rules apply to them. In line with the current entry rules in force in Latvia, vaccination certificates for foreign nationals are recognized if they indicate that the last dose was received within the last 270 days (nine months).
Such a decision, which follows the recommendation of the European Union Commission, came into effect on February 1 and means that all travelers who completed their basic vaccination more than nine months ago are considered unvaccinated upon arrival in Latvia and, therefore, have to follow strict entry rules.
In contrast, relaxed entry restrictions apply to travelers who have already received a booster dose. Authorities have not announced an expiration date for the booster shots yet.
Previously, authorities in Latvia discouraged its citizens from traveling to other EU member states as they are all currently dealing with rising infection rates. In addition, it was revealed that entry rules continue to apply to everyone.