Travelers without negative Covid-19 test could be subject to penalties

Starting Friday, a negative Covid-19 test will have to be presented upon entering Latvia. Travelers without proof of this will be subject to administrative responsibility, Ministry of Transport's Deputy State Secretary Dīns Merirands said January 13.

As of Friday, January 15, travelers will have to produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test carried out no more than 72 hours ago. Exception: commercial carriers and children under the age of 11. The rules will enter into force at the same time as the introduction of a similar framework in Lithuania and Estonia.

In a remote press conference, Rinalds Belijs, chief of the State Border Guard and immigration control authority, said that different approaches would apply to arrivals from countries outside the European Union (EU) and within the EU.

As regards the external land border, namely, the Russian and Belarussian border, in the event of absence of a negative Covid-19 test, the border guard will decide on initiating administrative proceedings and imposing penalties.  The border guard will also have the right to not let the person enter Latvia, as theymay be a threat to public health and safety.

Arrivals from Lithuania and Estonia may also be subject to administrative responsibility. “There is no procedure for denying the possibility of this person entering the State. But in any case, the official of the State Border Guard will invite this person to go back to their country of departure,” explained Belijs.

For Latvian nationals, even if they do not have a negative Covid-19 test, the return to the country is guaranteed, the border guard representative said, pointing to the rights provided for in the Constitution.

The presence of the test does not mean that the person is exempted from self-isolation, it still has to be observed by all arrivals.


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