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Covid-19: Rinkevics tells Latvians currently in Africa or Asia to go to Istanbul for planned repatriation flight

BC, Riga, 16.03.2020.Print version
Those Latvian nationals who are currently in Africa or Asia and would like to return home, are urged to travel to Istanbul to catch a repatriation flight planned by the Latvian government, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) told journalists Monday.

"Istanbul is the place where we will organize for people to assemble. This will not happen tomorrow. It will be take several days because people must be given time to get, for instance, from Vietnam, Indonesia or Bali and other countries to gather there," the minister said. 

In Rinkevics' words, this might be one flight from Istanbul and that as soon as the necessary information and data are available the flight will go ahead. 

As for the Latvians willing to repatriate from North or South America, they need to get to Europe first, the minister said. "They have to get to Europe. It can be Germany, Great Britain or a Scandinavian country, but please get to Europe," the minister said, adding that the Foreign Ministry together with colleagues from the Transport Ministry and airBaltic will try to figure out how to organize the repatriation flights. 

Rinkevics indicated that, according to preliminary information, there are also quite a few people needing to repatriate from Tenerife, Spain. "I would rather not make predictions as to when these flights might take place, because formalities still have to be completed," Rinkevics said. 

The minister also urged people to catch the last regular commercial flights while it is still possible, because Riga Airport is closing and passenger transportation across Latvia's borders being suspended at midnight. 

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