Government yet to decide on traveler control measures

The government on Tuesday failed to agree on new border and traveler control measures to limit COVID-19 spread, Latvian Radio reported July 14.

The Prime Minister and Ministers were not satisfied with the proposal from the Ministry of Interior that all nationals from outside the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland should carry a passport and wear a mask for 14 days after arrival.

For failure to comply with the rules, administrative responsibility was to be sought under the prioposals. In other words, failure to comply with the conditions of having a passport to hand or failure to show it at the request of an official could result in a fine of EUR 10 to EUR 2,000.

The project annotation states that the envisaged administrative sanction is similar to the existing sanction for non-compliance with isolation or quarantine. The State Police or the  municipal police would be in charge of enforcing administrative violations.

The rules prepared by the Ministry of Interior will be modified and the government will meet for an emergency meeting on Wednesday to reconsider the matter.

The Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) expressed confusion about these proposals, because the problems are not attributable to arrivals from specified countries, but to all arrivals, including Latvian nationals, who take advantage of the opportunities to travel and return to and from a high-risk country.

Ministers did not object to the Foreign Ministry's proposal that the adoption of long-term visa applications should be temporarily suspended at Latvian diplomatic and consular missions abroad, but this will also be decided on Wednesday.

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