International travel rules loosened in Latvia

The ban to enter Latvia from several specific Omicron-affected countries is to be lifted, the government decided on Tuesday, January 11.

As of January 12, a negative Covid-19 test result will not be required for persons holding a vaccination or recovery certificate for entry into Latvia, except on entry from very high-risk countries, when a negative Covid-19 test result is required for everyone to enter Latvia, the Ministry of Transport (SM) said.

A ban was in force to date, prohibiting entry from certain African countries: South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi.

However, given that the type of Omicron is already widespread in Latvian society and imported cases are not so significant, it is not necessary to impose a ban on the entry of the countries particularly affected by Omicron, the draft order states.

In these cases, it will no longer be required to carry out a Covid test before entry or at the border. For those travelers who wish, the possibility of testing will continue to be given on a voluntary basis.

Also starting January 12, it will no longer be necessary to show a negative Covid-19 test for vaccinated and recovered persons with a certificate for entry to Latvia from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, and Russia. Such a requirement was in force until January 11 in order to reduce the distribution of the Covid-19 Omicron in Latvia.

A negative Covid-19 test result is required on entry from particularly high-risk countries when a negative Covid-19 test result is required for everyone. The lists of those countries are available on the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC). 

All travelers will continue to be able to carry out a free Covid-19 test at Riga airport after their flight.

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