The Latvian government announced on Tuesday, June 2, that it would ease restrictions on those arriving from most European countries from Wednesday, June 3. Most visitors will no longer be required to self-isolate as part of an easing of emergency coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures. Those arriving who have been in Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Belgium, Malta, Ireland, or Spain over the past two weeks will still be required to isolate. Travel to and from all other European countries will be unrestricted. Latvia had already opened a "travel bubble" with the neighboring Baltic states of Lithuania and Estonia from May 6.
On May 8, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš announced that the nationwide state of emergency will be extended until Tuesday, June 9; however, restrictions have been gradually relaxed during May. Gatherings of up to 25 people were permitted from May 12, providing that individuals keep two meters apart, and all indoor events are restricted to a maximum of three hours. Libraries, museums, and national archives, as well as concert halls and cinemas, have also been permitted to gradually reopen, provided "sanitary protocols" are in place. The covering of noses and mouths remain compulsory on public transport, while leisure and entertainment venues, including restaurants, will be allowed to open between 07:00 - 00:00 (local time). Additionally, non-contact sports training will be permitted, and kindergartens are allowed to reopen for children aged five to six.
As of June 3, health authorities have confirmed 1071 cases of COVID-19, including 24 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.