This is to inform that on 14 March 2020 the Government of Latvia has taken extra steps to ensure safety and curb the spread of the coronavirus by amending the measures taken as per the Cabinet of Ministers decree No. 103 of 12 March 2020. This is part of the Government’s response to a State of Emergency that has been declared in Latvia until 14 April 2020.
Below, an English summary of the amendments with information that may be of primary interest for the diplomatic missions, international organizations and representations thereof:
Cancel and prohibit public gatherings for festivals, remembrance, entertainment, culture, sports, and recreation (including at night clubs and discotheques), public meetings, marches, (as described in the law “concerning public meetings, marches, and demonstrations) as well as religious activities and gatherings. Restrict ad hoc gatherings at particular venues, including those related to culture, entertainment, sports, and religion, to no more than fifty persons. Require that cultural, entertainment, sports, and recreational activities are concluded not later than 23.00.
As of 17 March 2020, suspend international transit of passengers through airports and ports, by bus and rail, except for the travel of passengers by State aircraft and military transport. The Minister of Transport may make exceptions concerning international travel of passengers upon receiving an appropriate request.
As of 17 March 2020, prohibit the movement of passengers and vehicles through border crossing points at airports and ports, on road and railway lines at the external border of the European Union, as well as through the border crossing points intended for local border traffic, with the exception of the carriage of goods. The Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Transport can make exceptions concerning the movement of persons and vehicles.
Permit the nationals of the Republic of Latvia and nationals of other countries residing permanently in Latvia to return to Latvia through the above mentioned border crossing points.
Foreign nationals are permitted to travel away from Latvia at above mentioned border crossing points.
Foreign diplomats accredited to work in Latvia as well as individuals in Latvia for humanitarian reasons and for purposes in Latvia’s national interests are permitted to enter and leave the Republic of Latvia at the designated border crossing points.
Latvian diplomatic missions and consular missions abroad shall not issue long-term and short-term visas to Latvia while the state of emergency remains in force.
The consolidated English version of the amendments made on 14 March 2020 is available on the Cabinet of Ministers webpage at: https://www.mk.gov.lv/en/aktualitates/regarding-declation-emergency-situ...
Questions and Answers
- How to travel to Latvia when international traffic has been cancelled?
Latvian nationals and permanent residents can enter the country at all times; however, border crossing rules established by other European countries do not leave many options. In practice, it is possible to return to Latvia only by a private car, on foot or by a specially organised transport, contingent on permission from the Minister of Transport. Regular commercial service is not permitted.
- May foreign nationals leave Latvia?
Foreign nationals may leave any time by a personal car or a specially organised public transport.
All types of international passenger carriage to/from Latvia has been suspended until 14 April, inclusive.
- Where to find information on entry restrictions established in other countries?
Please follow updates on the MFA website section (in Latvian) on countries that have established restrictions on entry.
- Where to find information on specially permitted international passenger trips?
See information on the Ministry of Transport website section (in Latvian) on exceptional permits for international passenger transportation.
- How to apply for repatriation?
You are invited to register with the Consular Register at www.latvija.lv or to contact the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department by phone +371 26337711 , as well as to register for repatriation flights on airBaltic website. All this information will be collected and repatriation flights planned accordingly.
- When will information on air Baltic repatriation flights be available?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is collecting information on Latvian nationals abroad. Information will be provided as soon as a decision is taken on arranging repatriation flights and the required documents approved.
- Could other repatriation trips be arranged – by bus, ferry?
We see that land transportation is made difficult due to other countries having closed their borders. Repatriation is currently being organised by air and by ferry. Please follow information on Travel Safe FB account https://www.facebook.com/pg/celodrosi/posts/?ref=page_internal (in Latvian).
- How are repatriations flights organised?
Repatriation flights are planned and organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in association with the Ministry of Transport and airlines.
Separate tour operators are organising charter flights as a paid service to bring travellers home