Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 16 April 2021
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy at email@example.com, and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
a. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
b. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
c. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
d. U.S. destination address
Is U.S. destination home address?
e. Departure date
f. Flight itinerary
g. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
h. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
i. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
j. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
k. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
l. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
m. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
The Department of State has issued a Level 3 Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Latvia due to the global impact of COVID-19. Availability of services in Latvia is good. Visit https://covid19.gov.lv/en for updated information. Restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery only. Starting from April 7 all shops are open for clients except for shopping malls. Public events are cancelled. The government has reinstated the 2+2 rule, requiring no more than two individuals within 2 meters of others when in public. Masks or mouth/nose coverings are mandatory in all public indoor places. Regular flights are available out of Latvia, however, flight schedules remain limited and have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. International passenger transport through airports, ports, by bus and by rail to and from all countries in the European Union, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom resumed on January 15, 2021. Upon entering Latvia, all travelers entering Latvia aged 12 and over will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours. Only essential travelers from the countries listed above will be allowed into Latvia. Essential travel includes: work; training, studies; family reunification; to receive medical services; transit; accompanying a minor; return to one’s permanent place of residence; and attending a funeral. https://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/consular-information/news/66019-emergency-situation-in-latvia-to-restrict-the-spread-of-covid-19.
The Government of Latvia reports there have been 110 343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders (+ 612 cases from 16 373 tests reported on April 16)
There have been 2042 cases reported COVID-19 related to deaths in Latvia (+12 cases reported on April 16)
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Latvia? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- Anyone with symptoms can be tested for free. For those without symptoms, only citizens and residence permit holders can be tested for free. If you do not meet these criteria, the cost, per test, is 37 euros.
- For more information on testing, please visit the Government of Latvia COVID-19 website (https://covid19.gov.lv/en/covid-19/about-covid-19/who-can-be-tested-covid-19-free).
- A map of COVID-19 testing sites in Latvia
- Individuals with severe symptoms please call the emergency line at 113.
- For a COVID-19 questions, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 8345.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Latvia approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
- Are vaccines available in Latvia for U.S. citizens to receive? No
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- For information on vaccination plans in Latvia, please visit the Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control COVID-19 page at https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/vakcinas-pret-covid-19 and the Latvian State Agency of Medicines website at https://www.zva.gov.lv/lv/jaunumi-un-publikacijas/jaunumi/infografika-iedzivotaju-vakcinacijas-pre-covid-19-laika-plans.
Entry and Exit Requirements
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No
- Restrictions from entering Latvia from outside the European Union (including the United States) remain in place. If returning to/entering Latvia from a country which is subject to special precautionary and restrictive measures due to a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the specific country (more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) will be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. For a list of countries and the rate please visit the following: https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/if-returning-toentering-latvia. If the country is marked in red or yellow, a person must self-isolate for a period of 10 days after the leaving the specific country. Upon entering Latvia, all travelers aged 12 and over will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours.
- U.S. citizens residing in the United States are banned from entering Latvia for non-essential travel, which includes tourism, unless you have an EU passport or meet the very narrow exceptions detailed in the next bullet. The EU Commission determines who may enter the EU based on epidemiological data. At this time, there is no projected date when travelers from the United States will be permitted to enter Latvia.
- Exceptions to the travel ban include spouses or minor children of Latvian nationals, long-term residents, members of government delegations and passengers in transit. Non-EU passport holders with EU permanent residence permits may also enter Latvia Please visit the website of the Embassy of Latvia in Washington D.C. here for information regarding entry into Latvia and here for consular information.
- Consult with your airline regarding any documents they may require for boarding. The Embassy cannot request special exceptions to the travel restrictions. You must contact the Latvian Embassy in Washington if you believe you have a compelling travel reason.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, upon entering Latvia, all travelers aged 12 and over will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 72 hours.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? No
- There are no special health checks for arriving passengers at Riga Airport.
- All travelers, except children under the age of 7, must wear a medical mask in the Airport. Entry into the Airport terminal is only allowed for passengers wearing a mask who have a boarding pass or booking confirmation.
- The Airport urges travelers to observe the requirement to wear a mask during their stay at the Airport. If a passenger arrives at the Airport without a mask, s/he can purchase one at the entrance or in the terminal.
- Before entering Latvia, all passengers are requested to fill out a electronic questionnaire https://covidpass.lv/en/ confirming that they will observe the established epidemiological safety measures upon arrival. Passengers must fill in their name, surname, personal identification code, contact telephone number and address of the actual place of residence where they can be reached, as well as countries and dates of departure where passengers have stayed during the 14 days before arrival in Latvia. For minors, the form must be completed by the parent/legal representative. Travelers will receive a QR code that must be submitted to the border guard official (in case of border control or random inspection). The form must be completed at least 48 hours before crossing the border. The data entered in the form will be forwarded to the competent Latvian authorities (Latvian police, border guard, and disease prevention and control center) and will be kept for 30 days. More information is available at: https://mk.gov.lv/en/aktualitates/october-12-when-crossing-border-republic-latvia-electronic-questionnaire-will-have-be.
- If a passenger has arrived from a country with a Covid-19 cumulative 14-day incidence over 50 per 100 000 inhabitants, this person is subject to 10-day self-isolation when entering Latvia. The list of these countries is available on the website of the Latvia’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC).
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
- If entering Latvia from a country which is subject to special precautionary and restrictive measures due to a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the specific country. The list of countries can be viewed on the website of the Latvia`s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (Slimību profilakses un kontroles centrs). If the country is marked in red or yellow, a person must self-isolate for a period of 10 days after the leaving the specific country. Self-isolation must be maintained at the place of a person’s residence or another place of stay.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Passenger flights from Riga Airport continue to remain limited. However, airlines have begun to resume many previous flight paths. Check Riga Airport website for the current list of available destinations.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- For those arriving from countries with a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, masks are required on public transportation and in taxis when traveling to the place of self-isolation. The list of countries can be viewed on the website of the Latvia Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (Slimību profilakses un kontroles centrs).
- Following the 10-day period of self-isolation, masks are required to be worn on public transportation or in taxis.
Fines for Non-Compliance
- Individuals not complying with the health and safety requirements can be subject to a fine from 100 – 2000 euros.
- The U.S. Embassy Riga has limited, emergency, in-person passport and CRBA appointments, certain emergency visa appointments and other emergency services as needed. American citizens should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if assistance is needed.
- U.S. Citizens seeking information on the CARES Act, including stimulus checks for individuals and assistance for small business owners, are encouraged to visit the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payment site for more information.
- View U.S. Embassy Riga’s Most Recent Alerts
- Cabinet of Ministers Press Releases
- Latvia’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC)
- SPKC Specific Information on Rates of Incidence In Other Countries
- SPKC Current News about COVID-19
- Latvia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- European Center for Disease Prevention and Control
- Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test Result or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline Passengers Arriving into the United States
- Updates on Travel Restrictions to the United States on Visa Waiver Program
- COVID-19 Travel Information page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Latvia Country Information and Travel Advisory page
- World Health Organization
- Register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)