Authorities in Latvia have announced that vaccinated and recovered travellers who hold a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate will no longer be required to undergo a testing process upon their arrival in the Baltic State; the country’s Ministry of Health has confirmed.
However, the Ministry has clarified that the new rule that will become effective on January 12 will not include countries that have recently been profoundly affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, especially from the Omicron variant, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, according to the Ministry, all immigrants will also be eligible to continue to undergo a free COVID-19 testing process at Riga Airport after the flights.
Previously, authorities in Latvia imposed a mandatory negative COVID-19 test result on arrivals from Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Russia and the United Kingdom in an effort to halt the further spread of the Omicron variant that has now become the main problem for a large number of countries worldwide.
“We encourage everyone to take the opportunity to take a voluntary, state-funded Covid-19 test upon arrival. The laboratory point for voluntary tests for migrants from Schengen countries is located in waiting room E, at the exit of the terminal, while migrants from non-Schengen countries can pass the test in test area C at the arrival terminal before the border control,” the statement published by Latvian Ministry of Health reads.
The following countries are considered profoundly affected by the spread of the Omicron variant, travellers from which are still required to follow additional entry requirements when arriving in Latvia, such as the testing process.
- South Africa
The same showed that only Romania and the Vatican City State are part of the green list, which includes the territories considered epidemiologically safe in terms of the COVID-19 situation.
Over 287,800 people have tested positive for the virus in Latvia since the start of the pandemic, while more than 4,600 people have lost their lives.
Besides, in the last seven days, the Baltic State recorded over 10,800 cases of COVID-19 infection and 79 deaths, based on the data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Latvia has also been profoundly affected by the Omicron variant, which led the government to extend the current state of emergency until February 28.
As a result, the Latvian government continues to classify other countries into green, yellow, and red categories, taking into account the COVID-19 infection rates.