Latvia's coronavirus state of emergency ends ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The heart of the Latvian capital Riga's UNESCO-listed Old Town.
The heart of the Latvian capital Riga's UNESCO-listed Old Town. Source: ERR

The state of emergency the government of Estonia's southern neighbor Latvia declared in response to the coronavirus pandemic expired at midnight last night, Tuesday.

Latvia however is maintaining some restrictions and regulations, the English-language portal of public broadcaster LSM reports, generally similar to Estonia's but with some differences, which visitors might like to bear in mind.

Latvia authorities say the 2+2 rule (maximum two people congregating in public, minimum two meters' distance from others in public-ed.) and the recommendation to engage in regular hand-washing and disinfecting are still in place.

As in Estonia, travelers coming from EU/EEA countries with more than 15 COVID-19 cases reported per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous two weeks – including the U.K. and Ireland – will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Other regulations remaining in place in Latvia are:

  • Masks or other coverings – which can include a scarf or similar – must be worn when using public transport.
  • Social events of up to 100 indoors and up to 300 outdoors are permissible, while maintaining the 2+2 rule.
  • From July, events of up to 500 outdoors, and from August up to 250 indoors, will be permitted, provided the area covers at least 1,000 square meters.
  • Restaurants can host up to four people at an indoor table, twice that outdoors, and must ensure capacity is such that a minimum 4 square-meter space per person can be maintained. Eateries must also provide a take-out option for those that ask, and disinfect tables after each group of occupants leaves.
  • A midnight-to-6.30 a.m. curfew is in place on cultural, sporting, entertainment and religious activities, with the exception of open-air cinemas and catering establishments, which can work till 2.00 a.m.
  • Museum visitors should pre-book tickets and maintain the 2+2 rule; museums are responsible for ensuring this happens.
  • Children's summer camps can host up to 30, the adult equivalent, up to 50 attendees.
  • Sport training can involve groups of no more than 30; no spectators can attend indoor sports events if the area is below 1,000 square meters.

Estonia and Latvia, together with Lithuania, opened up their mutual borders ahead of those with other EU nations or to travelers from other EU nations, in mid-May – the so-called "Baltic bubble". Prior to that, quarantining had been required for those crossing the Estonian-Latvian border in either direction, though exemptions were put in place in Estonia for those who needed to make the journey regularly for work.

Latvia's state of emergency started on March 13, the same day as Estonia's emergency situation; the latter ended at midnight on May 17.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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