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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 23.04.2021, 11:54

Residents of Valka and Valga to be exempt from self-isolation when moving within its borders

BC, Tallinn/Riga, 08.09.2020.Print version
Local residents of border towns Valka and Valga will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate after crossing the Latvian-Estonian border provided that they move within the administrative borders of the two municipalities, the Latvian government decided on September 8th, informs LETA/BNS.

The exemption will be included in the government regulations on Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of Covid-19 Infection in case Estonia is added to the list of countries arrivals from which are required to self-isolate.

However, those Valka residents who in the past 14 days will have visited other territories in Estonia like Tallinn for instance, or been to a country with high Covid-19 incidence, will still have to go into self-isolation. Self-isolation will also be mandatory for persons arriving in Valka from other Estonian territories or countries with high Covid-19 incidence. 

The Latvian Health Ministry explained that the local authorities of both Valka and Valga have invested sizable resources to create common recreation, sports, cultural and economic infrastructure, promote closer economic and social cooperation and implement joint projects and activities. 

Over 1,100 Latvian citizens have declared their residence in Valga and there are many families with households on both sides of the border. There are also quite a few Estonians living on Latvia's side of the border. 

Estimates suggest that if introduced without exemption, the self-isolation requirement could apply to some 2,000 residents of Valka and Valga, as well as practically all enterprises doing business in these two municipalities, which might create an excessive encumbrance. 

The Latvian government has therefore decided not to mandate self-isolation for residents of Valka and Valga who cross Latvia's land border with Estonia on a daily basis without moving outside the administrative territories of the two municipalities. 

The current rules in Latvia stipulate that persons returning from a country with a 14-day coronavirus incidence rate of over 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants must self-isolate for two weeks. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) releases an updated list of such countries each Friday.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the 14-day incidence level in Lithuania last Friday reached 16.1 cases per 100,000 population, while in Estonia the figure had risen to 16.38 cases.

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