From December 2, arrivals at Riga Airport will be able to take a COVID-19 PCR test for free, Latvian authorities have revealed.
“In cooperation with the laboratory of E. Gulbs, Ministry of Transport and Health, Riga Airport has given the opportunity to all passengers arriving in Latvia to take a state-paid Covid-19 RNA test from December 2, as this week’s Cabinet requires. decision,” the press release issued by the Latvian Ministry of Transport reads.
In addition, the tests will be carried out by the E. Gulbja laboratory, which will be available to all arriving passengers, including holders of vaccination or recovery certificates, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
All passengers arriving in the Latvian capital from countries in the Schengen zone can take their tests in hall E, at the exit of the terminal. While travelers from third countries can be tested in zone C before border control.
These points will be available for much of the day, but the test can be carried out at the E. Gulbja laboratory on the second floor of the airport when they are closed.
>> Traveling to Latvia during COVID-19: what you need to know
In general, the entry rules imposed by the Latvian government vary depending on the country of origin of the traveler, which means that people from countries with low epidemiological risk can enter the country under softer requirements.
In other words, countries with low risk areas include Vatican City – whose vaccinated and collected arrivals are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements. In contrast, unvaccinated arrivals from low-risk areas must undergo a PCR test 72 hours before traveling to Latvia.
The other countries in this category (third countries) are South Korea, Australia, Qatar, Colombia, New Zealand, Peru, Argentina, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Indonesia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Macao and Taiwan.
In addition, the amber box, which represents areas with a high threat to public health, includes countries with more than 75 positive cases over a period of 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants.
Currently, all EU member states, Switzerland, UK and all EU micro states such as San Marino, Andorra and Liechtenstein are classified as high risk areas. In addition, Jordan, Chile, Canada and Uruguay fall into this category.
Fully vaccinated and recovered travelers from these countries do not need to be tested or quarantined upon arrival. Still, those who are not vaccinated are forced to self-quarantine for ten days upon arrival in Latvia and provide a test result taken before their arrival. At this time, it is not recommended to travel to any of these countries.
In addition, countries with a very high risk public health threat have been introduced, also considered as variant countries of the virus. This list includes Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi.
Regardless of their vaccination status, arrivals from these countries are required to provide a negative test performed before arrival, undergo another test on arrival and undergo a ten-day quarantine.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Latvia has reported 5,901 COVID-19 positive cases and 172 virus-related deaths in the past seven days.