The fact that flights from Latvia to certain countries are or will be banned does not mean that people will not travel. Detours will be used to go on a business trip or rest outside Latvia, for example, a flight with multiple transfers, which increases the risk of Covid-19 spreading. However, Latvia will also lose incoming tourism.
Covid-19 foci off the list
Latvia calculates the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population per country, without distinguishing between more dangerous and safer areas, although such information is also collected by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. It shows, for example, that in Greece Covid-19 is most prevalent on the mainland, while in Crete and Rhodes the prevalence of Covid-19 has been relatively low in the last two weeks. In addition, as they are islands, it is not possible to enter them without control. All travelers are surveyed and some are also tested for Covid-19.
Looking at the latest data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) by region, it seems strange that, for example, 14 days of self-isolation must be observed when arriving from Crete, but not when returning from Treviso in Italy, although in the last 14 days with Covid. -19 cases were less than 20 cases per 100,000, while in Treviso they ranged from 20 to 49 cases per 100,000 population, according to www.ecdc.europa.eu. The situation is similar in Lithuania, which is still considered a safe country, with a cumulative 14-day Covid-19 case of 12.5 per 100,000 population. However, in the vicinity of Kaunas, this indicator had already exceeded 20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants yesterday.
Unlike Latvia, Germany identifies not only the dangerous countries of Covid-19, but also the regions of certain countries. For example, yesterday, Germany included the regions of Sibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia in Croatia, as well as the Vilcea region in Romania.
Covid-19 marshalling yard
Although the number of countries with 14 days of self-isolation is increasing every week when returning from or transiting through them, some professions are exempted from it as if people in those professions could not transmit the coronavirus.
Namely, since yesterday the circle of foreigners has been expanded, whose arrival in Latvia is necessary for organizing cultural and public events and who do not have to observe self-isolation under certain conditions. The self-isolation requirement therefore no longer applies to foreign directors, set designers, costume designers, actors, soloists, musicians, conductors, ballet artists, concertmasters, choreographers and visual arts professionals, film crew and artist staff, circus artists and circus artists. there are no signs of acute respiratory infectious disease and upon arrival in Latvia a Covid-19 test is performed, which is negative, according to the order of the Minister of Culture Nauris Puntuulis in the official publication “Latvijas Vēstnesis”. On the fifth to seventh day after leaving the country subject to the precautionary measures, the test will have to be repeated a second time, as Covid-19 infection may be detected later. In the case of staff serving artists, it is stipulated that they may not have more than two employees in total.
Neighboring countries are relaxing the rules
Estonia will apply the Covid-19 test as an alternative to self-isolation from September. The government of the neighboring country has decided to allow people entering from countries at high risk of Covid-19 infection to choose to take a coronavirus test as an alternative to 14-day self-isolation in September, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said. People who choose the test will have the right to go to work while avoiding wider social contact, but will have to have their tests re-examined after two weeks. According to Urmas Reinsalu, it will be a sufficiently safe alternative that will allow you to go on the most important trips abroad, while taking care of public health. Currently, similarly to Latvia, Estonia also has a requirement for self-isolation when entering from European countries, where the number of newly detected infections has exceeded 16 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks.
The Lithuanian government also decided on Monday to lift the current entry ban for people from European Union (EU) countries with high levels of infection with the new coronavirus, but will require immigrants to take Covid-19 tests. According to the Minister of the Interior Rita Tamašuniene, immigrants from countries where more than 25 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in the last two weeks will have to present negative test results no later than 72 hours before arrival in Lithuania. In turn, Lithuanian citizens who want to return from such countries will have a mandatory self-isolation and analyzes must be performed in Lithuania within 24 hours of their return, reports LETA. “Lithuanians will have to take tests in Lithuania upon arrival, but we will require incoming foreigners [tos veikt] in his country, “explained Health Minister Aurelius Veriga.
According to R. Tamašuniene, the current lists of countries at risk, which were updated once a week and determined which countries are banned from entering Lithuania, have actually lost their meaning, because the situation is constantly changing everywhere, so it has been decided to level the entry rules.
Under the current regime, only Lithuanian citizens were allowed to return to their homeland from countries where more than 25 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in the last two weeks, while foreigners were prohibited from entering Lithuania.
The requirement for self-isolation will continue to be mandatory for all those who come to Lithuania from countries where more than 16 infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in the last two weeks.
Latvian officials do not like traveling
Latvia does not yet offer any alternative to self-isolation, except for the already mentioned representatives of certain professions from other countries, or when determining the Covid-19 dangerous countries, to take into account the disease indicators in a specific region.
However, Latvian officials have never stated that they do not support travel during Covid-19. For example, yesterday in an interview with TV3, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (JV) emphasized that people who have left the country for third countries due to the changing security situation should not hope that the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be able to help “pull” them back in a few days. have become even smaller than at the beginning of the pandemic in the spring. According to him, Latvians who have left the EU outside the EU may be “stuck” for a very long time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He repeatedly called on the people of Latvia to carefully assess the need for trips abroad, including trips selected for leisure within the Baltic States. The Minister noted that the situation in Covid-19 is very volatile, and the country, which was still on the “green list” yesterday, may today be on the “red list”, which requires self-isolation.
This does not mean that E. Rinkēvičs would stay only in Latvia during Covid-19. He went on a business trip to Belgium from 12 July to 13 July, and from 29 July to 30 July 2020 to the Czech Republic, a country to which the SPKC recommended not to go during that period.
Uga Dumpis, the chief infectologist of the Ministry of Health, a few days ago in the LTV program “Morning Panorama” expressed her concern about people’s desire to go outside Latvia, as this is still one of the main factors for the spread of the infection. “I am unhappy that people are increasingly taking the opportunity to go outside Latvia. This seems strange and in some ways irresponsible to me, because the argument that I am young and not ill is wrong. It must be understood that factors, so we have to look at this issue in complexes, “said U. Dumpis.
The lowest indicator in Latvia
Latvia had the lowest 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population among European countries yesterday – 3.9 cases, according to information gathered at www.ecdc.europa.eu.
Today, every Friday, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPCC) will update the list of countries to which it is not recommended to go and from which it is necessary to observe 14 days of self-isolation. Therefore, the list approved last Friday is still valid, according to which two weeks of self-isolation in Latvia must be observed when returning or traveling in transit through a total of 21 European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) countries, as well as through Monaco, Andorra and San Marino. Last Friday, Latvia had the third lowest number of patients relative to the population – 4.1 patients per 100,000 population. This rate was even lower only in Hungary, where 3.2 cases were reported, and in the Vatican, where there were no Covid-19 patients.
Information on the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population is updated daily at www.ecdc.europa.eu (although not in the Vatican). Following the changes, it is possible to consider what the list published today by the SPKC might look like. More than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (such countries are included in the red list in Latvia) were yesterday in 18 EU and EEA countries, including Greece and Poland, which were still on the list of yellow countries on Friday last week. In Cyprus, on the other hand, the number of Covid-19 cases in the last 14 days did not exceed 25 yesterday.