COVID-19 tests could be accessible without referral over holidays

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During winter holidays, people might be allowed to apply for COVID-19 tests without a GP's referral, Health Minister Ilze Viņķele told Latvian Television December 15.

The capacity of laboratories and the readiness to devote additional resources to COVID-19 testing on holidays is being stepped up and improved, the minister said.

On Monday, the crisis management groups of the Ministry of Health discussed the possibility that testing algorithms could be changed for the holiday until the first week of next year. Specifically, people could apply for COVID-19 tests without referral, Viņķele said.

In the past week, municipalities have also expressed their willingness to engage more in order to be able to conduct testing in social care centers on holiday. This would allow increased testing capacity, Viņķele said.

As of 12 December, people who need urgent referrals to COVID-19 testing outside the GP's working hours may receive it by contacting the emergency doctor by phone 67131313. Over the past weekend, about 40 people have used this opportunity.

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