Foreigners might lose Latvian residence permits or visas for flouting self-isolation requirement

  • 2020-07-13
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Foreigners from non-EU countries who flout the 14-day self-isolation requirement on arriving in Latvia should be stripped of their temporary residence permits or visas, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) believes.

In his posts on social networks, the minister has called for a moratorium on the issuance or extension of term residence permits until the Covid-19 incidence in the given country is brought in line with the EU criterion, which is no more than 16 cases per 100,000 population within past two weeks.

Arrivals from third countries should also be required to provide an assurance of compliance with all epidemiological rules, Rinkevics said, adding that violations of the 14-day self-isolation requirement should be punishable by a fine or revocation on the residence permit or visa.

The foreign minister underlined that the proposals are proportionate and called on ministers to debate them at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. The Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, will propose the measures to the cross-sectoral coordination management group, which is tasked with enforcing the law on managing the containment of Covid-19.

Latvian Ambassador to Russia Maris Riekstins wrote on Twitter that in recent days the embassy has been receiving numerous calls from people wanting to visit Latvia. The ambassador underlined that tourism or holiday trips to Latvia are still not possible. 

However, for those categories of Russian nationals who are allowed to enter Latvia, a 14-day self-isolation period is mandatory, Riekstins stressed. 

Earlier, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) said that in order to curb the spread of Covid-19 more effectively, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport should propose tougher entry rules for travelers arriving in Latvia from the so-called red list countries where the 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases exceeds 25 per 100,000 population, which includes Belarus and Russia, among other countries.