The Latvian government came to terms on COVID-19 certificates’ validity earlier this week, setting an expiration limit of five months for those who have been administered a Janssen vaccine and nine months for those vaccinated with the remaining approved shots.
However, this decision will not apply to those entering Latvia, as the term of the validity of the vaccination certificate is set at 270 days for every vaccine – meaning that all fully vaccinated arrivals who have received this final shot nine months before travelling, are eligible to enter Latvia.
The decision will enter force on February 1 for arrivals to Latvia, whereas rules for use in Latvia will take effect on February 15, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Furthermore, based on the official decision, a person will be considered fully vaccinated and obtain a valid COVID-19 certificate if five months (150 days) have passed after receiving a dose of Janssen vaccine and nine months (270 days) since the second shot of any other vaccine has been administered. In addition, people who have received a booster or third shot are eligible to obtain such a document.
Moreover, those who have received the first shot of the vaccine will be able to continue working even after five months (for those vaccinated with the Janssen shot) or nine months for those vaccinated with the remaining vaccines. This will also apply to volunteers and persons with outsourcing contracts.
In addition, the validity of the certificate will not apply to children under 18 as booster shots are not available for them, whereas for people who received a booster shot, no expiry date of their vaccination certificate has been announced.
The Latvian Health Minister, Daniels Pavluts, warned that plans for booster shots should be completed now in order to combat the Omicron strain, which is spreading rapidly in the country, and as soon as early February, many medics could fall ill, and there could be limited opportunities to get the booster.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the vaccination rates in Latvia stand at 66.1 per cent for those partially vaccinated; those with two shots make up for 63.5 per cent of the population, and 13.3 per cent have received the third or booster shot.
As per infection rates, there are 6,884 positive cases with COVID-19 reported in Latvia in the last seven days, in addition to 60 deaths. Since the pandemic started, 281,155 positive cases and 4,613 deaths have been registered in the Baltic country, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) data reveals.