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07 Nov 2020 | 06:08 AM UTC

Latvia: Authorities declare state of emergency until December 6 due to COVID-19 /update 10

Latvian authorities declare a state of emergency until December 6 due to COVID-19; abide by government directives

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LVA

Event

Latvian authorities have declared that a state of emergency will go into effect on Monday, November 9, and last until December 6 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country. The state of emergency will allow the government to enact further restrictions to curb the further spread of the virus. Public events will be banned, and no more than 10 people may gather at private indoor events, while events outdoor are restricted to 50 people. All swimming pools, water parks, saunas, and spas must shut down. On weekend and public holidays only certain essential retailers will be allowed to open. Facemasks have previously been made mandatory in most enclosed public spaces.

Travelers from the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, and the UK are permitted to enter Latvia. However, those arriving from one of these countries must self-isolate for ten days on arrival if that country has a 14-day cumulative incidence of COVID-19 greater than 16 cases per 100,000. Travel from all other countries is not permitted, except for returning immediate family members of Latvian nationals, diplomats, individuals in transit, and freight workers.

As of Saturday, November 7, health authorities have confirmed 7476 cases of COVID-19 in Latvia, with 95 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

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.

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