Latvian gov’t orders COVID-19 tests for guest workers from high-risk countries

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RIGA, July 28 (Xinhua) — In a bid to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus infection, all foreign nationals who come to work in Latvia will be required to take two consecutive COVID-19 tests, the Health Ministry stated on Tuesday, citing a new government regulation.

Until now, guest workers who had received work permits from the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, and persons in creative professions invited by the Culture Ministry, were exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Latvia, even if they came from countries with high COVID-19 incidence.

However, most recent epidemiological data show that COVID-19 cases related to incoming guest workers are on the rise in Latvia. The Baltic country’s health authorities therefore have recommended taking preemptive action and testing the arriving workers before they could start infecting their colleagues.

The guest workers will be required to take the first test upon arriving in Latvia. They will not be allowed to start working and will have to remain in self-isolation until a negative test result confirms the absence of infection. Between the fifth and seventh day after arrival, they will have to take the second test. The new regulation is effective from Aug. 1.

The Latvian government will pay for the COVID-19 tests if the employer pays taxes for the guest worker. Enditem

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