RIGA - The expiration dates for Covid-19 certificates might be different depending on the vaccine, Health Minister Daniels Pavluts said in an interview with TV3 channel on Monday.
The minister said that the vaccination certificates' expiration date might be three months longer than the time in which the certificate's holder becomes eligible for a booster dose, which is two months for the Janssen jab, five months of Astra Zeneca and six months for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. Accordingly, the certificates' validity period might differ depending on the Covid-19 vaccine. This means that in Latvia, the Covid-19 certificates will have shorter validity period than in the rest of the European Union where all certificates are valid for nine months.
Pavluts hopes that the government will pass a decision on the vaccination certificates' validity period by Christmas, so that after a serious transition period, the regulation could come into affect on February 1.
As for traveling, Pavluts said that the regulation for travel might differ from the rules inside Latvia, which is a common practice also in other countries.
The minister said that for the time being there have been no reports of new important cases of omicron. So far, there are 12 suspected or confirmed cases of the new omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus reported in Latvia. Five of these cases are secondary infections when people have caught the virus from those who had returned from foreign countries.
Pavluts said that the government is not planning a new lockdown for Christmas, adding that a further toughening or easing of the existing restrictions will depend on the situation after the winter holidays, because the steep drop in Covid-19 infections that followed the last lockdown has now stopped.
The health minister urged caution during the festive season, noting that if the situation does not get worse, the state of emergency might be lifted and many restrictions eased on January 11.