Latvian universities take different approaches to Covid safety

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Latvian higher education schools are planning to start the new academic year in different ways as regards the epidemiological safety requirements, Latvian Radio reported August 30.

The government has stipulated that onsite learning in higher education can only take place with a valid Covid-19 certificate of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test, but the testing method would only be valid until October 10. After that, a certificate of vaccination or recovery would only be accepted. It would be allowed to organize studies remotely or partly remotely if needed.

Latvian Radio contacted several universities and found that the year would start in different ways. For example, studies will take place partially on-site at the Rīga Stradiņš University until October 10. The same statement was made by Rīga Technical University. The Turība university is planning to only work onsite all year round, but also provide the possibility to study online. 

All these authorities indicated that only those with a valid Covid-19 certificate of vaccination, recovery or a negative test will be able to come to the university until October 10. After that date, only vaccinated and recovered persons will be able to do so.

However, Ventspils University told Latvian Radio that the test method would be valid all year round. According to the Cabinet's rules, though, the students would have to pay themselves, and a test is only valid for a short while.

The president of the Latvian Students Union, Kristafers Zeiļuks, told Latvian Radio that the rules by the Cabinet are satisfactory and leave enough autonomy for the education establishments. He said that the Union is encouraging students to vaccinate but is also discussing the possibility of state-paid Covid-19 tests in the transition period until October 10 with the Education Ministry. 

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