RIGA - Latvia is keeping its borders with Belarus and Russia closed because of epidemiological, not political reasons, with only some groups of people allowed to cross into Latvia from these countries, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said today on Latvian Radio.
The minister said that the categories of people allowed to cross the border include Latvian nationals, as well as residents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus who have Latvian residence permits, but that they too are required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Latvia.
Rinkevics emphasized that Belarus and Ukraine are both on the same list as countries where the Covid-19 incidence is still too high to resume free travel.
"This is not a political but an epidemiological matter. I hope that we will beat the virus or that a vaccine will be found and there will be no need to take such strict measures anymore. As long as Covid-19 remains unbeaten, we have to be responsible to residents of Latvia and the European Union," the minister said, adding that the borders will be gradually reopened with those countries where the Covid-19 incidence drops to the EU average.