In 30 European countries, the risk of COVID-19 is now deemed to be high enough for arrivals to have to self-isolate. Only five countries have the infection rate low enough for arrivals not to self-isolate. Air carriers are not allowed to operate to three countries, namely, Andorra, Spain, and Monaco.
Hungary and San Marino are the latest additions to the list, the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) announced.
Neighboring Lithuania and Estonia have made a narrow escape from the list, with the rate at 15.95 in Estonia and 15.7 in Lithuania, according to Latvian SPKC. However, LRT News in Lithuania was reporting that the infection rates in both Estonia and Lithuania do indeed exceed the 16 case threshold, and those are the numbers currently quoted on the website of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The ECDC currently quotes a figure of 4.3 for Latvia, 16.1 for Lithuania and 16.4 for Estonia. As reported, Health Ministry officials tried to explain the apparent anomaly by saying they were using figures supplied direct by their partners in Lithuania and Estonia rather than the ECDC figures.
The countries on the "red" list are now distinguished between extremely high-risk and high-risk. The extremely high risk countries are those where passenger carriers do not operate (Spain, Andorra, Luxembourg). High-risk countries are recommended not to travel to, but passenger carriers may operate. The 'yellow list' are countries which are accessible for travel carriers but where the necessity of travel should be considered before going.
The changes take effect Saturday September 5, and apply to Latvian citizens and foreigners alike. The requirement applies to transit passengers as well as direct travelers.
Both 'red' and 'yellow' countries require 14 days' self-isolation.
The full list of 'red' and 'yellow' countries is also available on the SPKC website to download in PDF format.
More information on how to self-isolate and the penalties for not doing so are available in English, Latvian and Russian at the Disease Prevention and Control Center's dedicated web page.
To get a COVID-19 test, call 8303 on weekdays from 8 AM to 8 PM, on Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM and on Sundays from 9 AM to 12 PM.
You still have to self-isolate for 14 days, even if you've taken the COVID-19 test.