Latvia decides to continue Baltic travel bubble for one more week

The Latvian government decided Friday to continue the Baltic travel bubble at least for one more week after Estonia and Lithuania asked for postponement of the travel restrictions.

On Wednesday, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins warned that free travel inside the territory of the three Baltic states, or the so-called Baltic bubble, will probably end this week amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in Estonia and Lithuania.

He said that Latvia would not exempt travelers arriving from the two other Baltic countries from the self-isolation requirement, citing the need to protect public health.

According to the COVID-19 rules currently effective in Latvia, all travelers who arrive in Latvia from countries where the cumulative 14-day COVID-19 incidence exceeds 16 cases per 100,000 population are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, Latvian Health Minister Ilze Vinkele said Friday that next week arrivals from Lithuania and Estonia will not be required to self-isolate, as updated statistics do not yet rank the two countries among countries with increased COVID-19 risks.

At the same time, the government passed special regulations that will allow residents of border areas to cross into the neighboring country under certain conditions for purposes of work, study, etc., should travel restrictions come into force sometime in the future.