Located in Northeastern Europe, Latvia is known for its 12,000 rivers and 3,000 small lakes, making this country a dreamy place for international visitors. The country is also famous for its Art Nouveau architecture, national parks, and unique castles and palaces.
However, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic has temporarily suspended travel, especially for non-essential purposes.
According to figures published by Public Broadcasting of Latvia, the country was able to provide 13,000 beds in 2019; However, due to COVID-19, the numbers have dropped to 9,000 in 2020. Meanwhile, the total number of visitors hosted by hotels has decreased from 2,393,000 to 1,113,000.
Latvia has recorded more than 142,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 2,573 deaths, based on figures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Due to the current situation of COVID-19, we urge all travelers to follow entry rules and travel requirements when planning to head to Latvia.
Who can enter Latvia?
Currently, fully vaccinated travelers, as well as those who have recovered from the virus, are allowed to enter Latvia without having to undergo a mandatory testing or quarantine process if they are not traveling from countries severely affected by the disease.
“Unvaccinated or unrecovered travelers entering Latvia will be required to show evidence of a negative PCR test no later than 72 hours or a negative rapid antigen test no later than 48 hours before boarding or crossing the Latvian border,” notes a statement published by REopen. – The official website of the European Union, which provides information on current travel restrictions amid COVID-19.
The same source reveals that passengers will be prevented from boarding a plane, bus, train or any other means of transportation if they do not prove that they have tested negative for the virus.
“After entering Latvia, additional Covid-19 testing must be carried out at the nearest testing point. Children and vaccinated children are also subject to this obligation.”
Unvaccinated travelers, as well as those who have not recovered from the virus, should follow quarantine rules when traveling to Latvia from high-risk countries in the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Travelers with the EU Digital Certificate or any other valid certificate issued in the EU, EEA, Switzerland or UK are not required to follow self-isolation rules upon arrival in the Baltic State.
Currently, travelers from the following countries are allowed to enter Latvia without restrictions if they hold a valid vaccination document, and the country of origin has recently reported low rates of COVID-19 virus infection.
Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden
Travelers from the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and the Schengen Area are also allowed to enter Latvia, without restrictions, provided they present a certificate of vaccination recognized by the Latvian authorities.
What vaccines are approved for use in Latvia?
Like other EU countries, the authorities in Latvia accept vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which means that the approved vaccines are Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer), Moderna Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca, Oxford), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
On June 16, the Latvian government allowed entry to travelers from the European Union, the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, completely without restrictions, provided they hold a COVID-19 digital certificate.
In June, Latvia’s Minister of Transport, Thales Linkites, announced that the country had abolished entry requirements for vaccinated travelers.
This decision came in order to facilitate the travel process during the summer season and prevent another devastating situation for its industry, especially the tourism sector, which was severely affected by the virus.
In this regard, Linkets noted that “the coordinated and unified action of the European Union for free travel will allow citizens to plan summer vacations and the international passenger transport sector to return to business as usual.”
What do you expect when visiting Ireland?
According to Latvia.com, cases of COVID-19 virus are decreasing while countries are gradually removing restrictions they imposed to stop the spread of the virus and protect the lives of citizens.
“The ban on non-essential travel to Latvia, and the requirement for testing before and after the flight, as well as the requirement for self-isolation for vaccination and recovery, remain only when traveling from countries with a particularly high risk to public health (regulation of emergency brakes),” the statement explains.
So vaccinated travelers can spend some holidays in the Baltic country and get close to the culture, history and all that Latvia has to offer to its visitors.
Besides, Latvia in June agreed to changes to Regulation No. 360, “Epidemiological safety measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 infection”, previously proposed by the Ministry of Transport, regarding the abolition of testing and quarantine rules in order to allow more travelers to enter its territory , even for tourist purposes, provided that they have been fully vaccinated.
“I am pleased that the travel requirements have been simplified and aligned with the recommendations of the Council of the European Union. Latvia’s decision to allow non-essential travel for vaccination has been harmonized with the regulations in force in other EU member states”, emphasizes Transport Minister Thales Linkites in this regard.
However, the country has recently faced an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections; Therefore, the specific preventive measures imposed to stop the spread of the virus are still in force.
Previously, the Minister of Transport called on the government to increase the rate at which travelers from other countries have to impose quarantine. In addition, he called on the Ministry of Health to ensure that the country’s regulation of the risk classification of regions in terms of the Coronavirus is in line with the recommendations of the Council of the European Union.
Before traveling to Latvia, we urge travelers to purchase travel insurance packages that will protect them if their trip is canceled due to coronavirus or other reasons. In addition, travel insurance will also cover all costs in case of necessary medical treatments, illnesses or accidents.
In Latvia, travelers can find affordable travel insurance from AXA Assistance, Europ Assistance or MondialCare.
The current situation of COVID-19 in Latvia
According to figures published by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Latvia reported 181 new cases of COVID-19 on August 27. Among them, 155 people have not been or have not been fully vaccinated, while 26 have been fully vaccinated, according to the public. Broadcasting Latvia.
The same source revealed that based on the figures provided by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC), on August 30, it was found that 81 people were infected with the Corona virus. Among them, 68 were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated passengers, while 13 were fully vaccinated.
The two-week cumulative infection rate per 100,000 residents increased from 116.0 on Sunday to 117.7 on Monday.
Vaccination against the virus in Latvia remains low, with an average of about 4,700 people vaccinated per day on August 30, according to Latvian Insights.
The same source revealed that the frequency of vaccination was the lowest in the midsummer week, when an average of 4,549 people were vaccinated daily. However, the numbers weren’t much higher during the whole summer.
On August 29, only 843 people were immunized against the virus. 493 of them received the first dose of the vaccine, while 331 received the second dose. A total of 19 people were vaccinated with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.
According to Latvian Public Radio, 856,987 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been used in Latvia; By Sunday, AstraZeneca totaled 294,302 doses, 232,127 doses of Moderna vaccine, and 112,629 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A total of 755,922 people have been fully vaccinated in Latvia to date.
Latvia recorded 277 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The same reveals that Latvia has recorded a total of 142,400 cases of COVID-19 and 2,573 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.