RIGA - The Foreign Ministry will do its utmost to support Latvian citizens after March 17, when the government-imposed restrictions on international passenger transport will come into force, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) emphasizes.
The minister calls for awareness that this will take time and will not be easy given the state of emergency and restrictions in other countries. "We are working intensively on solutions," the minister stressed.
The minister said that Latvian nationals can return at any time, but that this will not be simple. "For those asking why it takes two days to close international traffic, the answer is to give those who are abroad some time to change their tickets and get back home. Those who think the time is too short to do so, unfortunately, a longer period is not possible due to the spread of the pandemic, this is an emergency," the minister emphasizes.
He promises that everything will be done to provide informative and consular support to Latvian citizens. The minister emphasizes that additional ministry resources have already been mobilized to provide information and support. Embassies are up and running at full capacity, but the minister asks to be aware that many European countries are currently taking extensive and unprecedented measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic - from quarantine to border and traffic closure.
"This means that it will not be possible to provide consular assistance or an immediate repatriation, individual or collective return in a matter of days. I am already communicating with my colleagues about cooperation and many countries are looking for solutions and ways to work together," Rinkevics said.