Authorities in Latvia will tighten several restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Oct. 17 due to increasing infection rates. From this date, all catering establishments must close from 2400-0600 and are limited to allowing four people per table, private events are limited to 30 people indoors and 300 people outdoors, and most amateur sports events are prohibited. Previously authorities limited public events to 500 people indoors and 1,000 people outdoors. As of Oct. 14, facemasks are mandatory in most enclosed public spaces nationwide.
Travelers from the EEA or from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, and Uruguay are permitted to enter the country; however, any arrivals from a country in which the 14-day cumulative incidence of COVID-19 is greater than 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. As of Oct. 10, only Australia, Cyprus, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vatican City have incidence rates below this threshold; travelers from all other permitted countries are required to self-isolate. Travelers do not need to self-isolate if they have stayed in a country with a COVID-19 incidence lower than the defined threshold for at least 14 days immediately before entering Latvia. Travel from all other countries is prohibited, except for immediate family members of Latvian nationals, diplomats, individuals in transit, and freight workers. Restrictions remain in place at the borders with Belarus and Russia.
Restrictions could be reimposed, extended, or otherwise amended at short notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they could prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.