In an emergency, there are stricter safety requirements set to limit the introduction of the virus; hence, a negative COVID-19 test result will be required in Latvia, similarly like in other countries, for entering from January 15. Simultaneously, controlled and traceable movements are allowed, thus enabling those who need travelling for crucial reasons or work, such as commercial carriers.
For providing movement control and traceability, confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test is required for entry into Latvia, and a note on this must be made in the filled-in covidpass.lv questionnaire.
To enter Latvia by an international passenger carrier, such as an airplane, one shall present a negative COVID-19 test result. In its turn, if an individual is not infectious, one shall present a certificate issued by a physician, a certificate of the presence of antibodies, or other medical document confirming this.
- The COVID-19 test must be performed not earlier than 72 hours before boarding the carrier’s vehicle, for example, in an airplane or crossing the Latvian border individually, for example, with one’s car;
- The test must be recognised in the country of departure;
- It shall be presented in printed form or electronically (on a person’s smart device) to a carrier, such as an airline; otherwise, the individual will be denied boarding;
- The test result or certificate may be in English, French, German, Russian, or, in the case of using the carrier’s services, also in the language of the country, wherefrom an individual travels to Latvia. When the certificate is presented to the State Border Guard or the State Police when entering Latvia from Estonia and Lithuania, it may also be in Lithuanian or Estonian.
The condition of 10 days of self-isolation after entering from abroad remains unchanged. Information on national morbidity rates is available at the website of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Subject to strict epidemiological security controls, international passenger traffic is allowed to and from the European Union (EU) Member States and within the European Economic Area and to and from Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Those individuals, who plan to transit through Latvia to another country, must also have a confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test result, which is indicated in the covidpass.lv questionnaire.
The current requirements for commercial carriers remain in force
Additional safety measures stipulate strictly controlled and traceable entry and movement in Latvia. At the same time, commercial carriers are enabled to continue business within the framework of the already existing regulations, and the employees of commercial carriers do not have to present a negative COVID-19 test result when entering Latvia. It applies to transport and passenger carrier service providers, including courier workers and members of the crew of passenger, freight, or technical flights, who will cross the Latvian border in the course of their work, in transit to another country, or to get to or return from their workplace. The mentioned employees, when crossing the Latvian border or before boarding the carrier’s vehicle, for example, an airplane, shall present a confirmation of a specific form - the “Form of an employee in the international transport sector” developed by the European Commission.
Similarly, additional safety measures will not apply to seafarers who have to enter or return from their workplace on board, ensuring the continuity of supply chains.
There are certain groups of people who do not have to undergo the COVID-19 test when entering Latvia:
- Children under 11 years of age;
- People who have received the required doses of COVID-19 vaccine;
- Delegations, diplomats, and members of their families, diplomatic couriers;
- Aircraft passengers who are in transit in Latvia and do not leave the controlled area of the airport (“sterile area” of the airport terminal);
- Borderland residents, who cross the border daily for work, education, and similar needs, can provide proof of employment or education. This would, for example, apply directly to the residents of Valka and Valga, who cross the Latvian-Estonian border regularly due to their daily needs;
- Other groups of individuals listed in Cabinet Regulation No 360.
Latvian citizens who have a positive COVID-19 test result will be able to return to Latvia by private vehicle. These persons shall be quarantined.
Most countries have additional security measures in place to limit the spread of the virus infection. We call for a responsible assessment of the need to travel and a thorough examination of the epidemiological safety requirements of other countries.