Covid-19 testing on eastern border of Latvia ongoing since mid-July

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Since last week, persons traveling to Latvia have to perform a Covid-19 test to cross the eastern external land border at four border crossing points - “Grebņeva”, “Terehova”, “Pāternieki” and “Silene”, Latvian Radio reported July 20.

At the border point of Terehova, the Covid-19 tests shall be carried out in a small container-type laboratory located near the main checkpoint building. Two assistant physicians, Viktorija and Ilona, work there all day.

“It's calmer now. We had a very busy time yesterday afternoon. From noon until midnight or one at night, there was a lot of work to do. It's a little more relaxed at nighttime,” Viktorija said. 

“A person knocks, goes in, we ask him for documents, do the test, then we enter all the other data. And then they have to wait 15 minutes until there's an answer. If they turn out to be ill, then we are making the big PCR test and passing the information to the border guard. From there, they deal with it on their own,” Viktorija said.

The testing point in Terehova started working Sunday and is attended by about 150 people a day. Testing of everyone who cannot present a Covid-19 certificate, including third-country nationals, citizens of the European Union, and also of Latvia, must be performed at the border. 

The surveyed arrivals said that Covid-19 testing on the Latvian border was nothing new and that it was standard practice elsewhere. The test price was the main source of dissatisfaction.

With the entry into force of various restrictions related to Covid-19, road traffic has been reduced across the border.

"The flow of freight has neither dwindled nor increased. It's stable. Up to 250 cars a day. And 100-150 cars drive out. As for passenger cars, the flow is minimal. Although there are currently a variety of incentives, a total of 25-30 passenger cars are departing and entering the country," said Raimonds Kublickis, chief of the Border and Immigration Control Service.

Since July 12, more than a thousand tests have been carried out at Terehova on the Russian border, at the Grebņeva checkpoint -- around 900. Those who test Covid-19 positive are taken to their self-isolation location by the Emergency Medical Service. 

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