Travelers from Lithuania and Estonia will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon arriving in Latvia as of this Friday, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said on Wednesday.
As coronavirus infection rates have jumped in Lithuania and Estonia, the decision spells the end of the so-called Baltic bubble, free travel for Baltic residents across the three countries that was agreed on in mid-May.
Latvia currently has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the Baltics and one of the lowest in Europe. It has reported 4.2 infections per 100,000 people over the past two weeks.
Lithuania’s incidence rate stands at 16.8, while Estonia’s is 15.7.
Most European countries, including Lithuania, apply 16 per 100,000 people as the threshold of cases in the country of origin beyond which travelers are required to self-quarantine.
According to LSM.lv, Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said in the government meeting that his Baltic counterparts had asked him to make exceptions for Lithuanian and Estonian residents.
However, Prime Minister Kariņš insisted that Latvia would apply its rules uniformly.