Foreign Minister: COVID-19 has no nationality

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All arrivals in Latvia are to be surveyed and if needed observed, as COVID-19 has no nationality, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs told Latvian Television on July 16.

Both foreign tourists and Latvian nationals returning home will have to complete a questionnaire and commit to comply with security measures.

“We cannot presume the virus has a passport – the virus has no passport. Anyone entering a red, yellow zone or another country may have been in contact with someone carrying the virus, may be a carrier of the virus itself and may be a citizen of Latvia, a U.S. citizen, and so on,” said Rinkēvičs.

He said that the cancellation of a temporary residence permit or visa would be an additional protective element for Latvian residents. According to the Minister, if the arrival does not respect the laws of Latvia, they may be expelled from the country.

Rinkēvičs also said that the government's approved surveying and monitoring were similar to compliance with road traffic rules: it is up to the people's honesty and respect to provide accurate information. "Dishonest people who do not inform us they have been in a country heavily affected by the infection will eventually endanger their fellow people." 

The Minister called on local residents to be careful, because COVID-19 also spreads locally, not only from arrivals.


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