Latvian-Estonian border town to be exempt from self-isolation rules

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If the COVID-19 infection rate in Estonia grows, the residents of bordertown Valka-Valga will not have to comply with self-isolation when crossing the border, Health Ministry said September 8.

Unlike any other territory in Latvia, the towns of Valka and Valga on the Latvian-Estonian border is a single functional territory, which is impossible to separate due to the infrastructure and facility placement, said the Ministry.

To ensure normal daily lives of the town residents, those who are declared there and frequently cross the border for everyday purposes will not have to comply with self-isolation, the government decided.

"Any movement restrictions or other rules, or self-isolation applies only when those residents are in other territories," said Health Minister Ilze Viņķele. Currently, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Valka and Valga.

Another decision was made for those who live close to the border and travel daily for work or education. Those residents will also be exempt from self-isolation requirements. 

These rules are not yet applied, they will only come in force if the infection rate grows and Estonia enters the list of the countries upon arrival from which people in  Latvia have to self-isolate.  The list of these countries is to be updated Friday. Health Minister has already said, though, that the current situation shows that Estonia will likely have to be included in the "yellow" list.

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