Government postpones decision on traveler testing to Friday

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On Tuesday, November 30, the government postponed a decision on the Ministry of Health's proposal to test all arrivals from abroad until Friday, December 3.

The proposal from the Ministry of Health provides that all arrivals will be required to perform a Covid-19 laboratory test before entering Latvia. The test will have to be performed not earlier than 72 hours before entering Latvia, and the result will have to be reported before boarding public international transport. Private passenger transport would not be covered by this requirement.

Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts called on colleagues to support the implementation of this proposal for at least a couple of weeks, by which time, experts should have a clearer idea of exactly how dangerous the new type of Covid-19 Omicron is.

Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits stressed that the Ministry of Transport did not oppose testing for the arrivals, but was against the idea that the Covid-19 test should be carried out abroad before boarding the means to transport to Latvia. Such a requirement would be an additional burden and not all countries could carry out the test within the prescribed time limits, he suggested.

As half of the ministers present supported the Health Ministry's proposal, while the other half was inclined to support the Transport Ministry's proposal. As a result the matter was postponed to a meeting on Friday, December 3.

Subsequently the LETA newswire reported that when entering Latvia at Riga International Airport, people will have the opportunity to take a voluntary Covid-19 test with effect from Thursday, December 2.

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