Economy & Politics: The consequences of the Latvian COVCID-19 policy and why almost all foreigners still cannot travel to Latvia

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Anyone who initially believed that the restrictions imposed by the corona virus would only apply for a short period of time were very wrong. Due to the COVID-19, the emergency situation in Latvia has been extended until June 9th, 2020. But for now the strict restrictions set in advance have been relaxed much more comparable to countries in Western Europe. The Latvian government’s new corona rules will come into effect on May 12th, 2020 and will – until now – apply until June 9th, 2020. Tourists from most countries can still only travel to Latvia if they go there to a 14-day domestic quarantine after their arrival.

The new corona rules for Latvia in a nutshell:

  • Up to 25 people are allowed to gather, depending on distance and security.
  • Organized indoor events must not last longer than 3 hours. There are no time restrictions for outdoor events.
  • There are no restrictions on the number of people at events where the visitor sits in a car. This traditionally affects drive-in cinemas. (Will they be around again or soon?)
  • Under certain conditions, contactless sports courses can be organized in groups of up to 25 people.
  • A nose and mouth covering must be used in public transport. The cover could be a scarf or a snood, a homemade face mask, or a purchased mask.
    Municipalities of the Republic of the Republic may set additional conditions for the use of urban public transport.
  • On-site consultations at an educational institution to prepare for state exams are permitted.
  • Face-to-face consultations in an educational institution for 9th grade students are allowed.
  • Subject to safety, on-the-job training in sports orientation and sports interests is permitted.
  • Kindergartens will be open to five-year-olds and six-year-olds in pre-school education.
  • Leisure and entertainment options, including restaurants, are open from 7 a.m. to midnight.
  • It will be allowed to organize tourism services for travel only in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
  • The government has not yet decided on international passenger transport.

Rīga airport is closed to civil flights until at least June 9, 2020. So far, there is no concept worldwide for the safe transportation of passengers in relation to COVID-19. It will stay that way for a long time. airBaltic connections are temporarily suspended until May 17th, 2020 inclusive. Considering future flights of airBaltic, their status depends on the future decision of the Government of Latvia.

The Corona virus was first detected in Latvia on March 2nd, 2020. But on March 25th, for the first time, five cases of infection were detected in people who have not been abroad and have not been in contact with COVID-19 patients. That, for sure, means that the virus circulated in society. The state of emergency due to COVID-19 in Latvia was declared on March 12.

Image: People walking in the streets of Jūrmala an on a sunny day. A photo taken in better times than now. Photo © 2014 by Birk Karsten Ecke. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Image: People walking in the streets of Jūrmala an on a sunny day.
A photo taken in better times than now.
Photo © 2014 by Birk Karsten Ecke.
Click on the image to enlarge it.

 

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