With one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in Europe, a sparsely populated land, and a propensity for outdoor entertainment, Latvia has become one of the safest travel destinations for the summer of 2020. Combined with lifted restrictions, it is also the destination where travellers can most freely enjoy their vacation.
The country has experienced relatively low infection rates, with a cumulative infection rate of 0.9 per 100,000 inhabitants since 26 June. The country never experienced lockdown to the extent that other countries, such as the UK and the US, have. Life in Latvia, therefore, is as close to ‘normal’. Indoor gatherings of up 100 are allowed, and outdoor gatherings of 1000 are allowed.
Outdoor activities such as concerts on a lake or in a field, drive-in movies, outdoor markets, water sports and the national pastime of mushroom foraging make the country an attractive destination for those looking to travel during the summer.
“One of the occasionally undervalued Latvian advantages is the perpetual proximity to nature. Here you don’t have to worry about queues, crowds, or bustling. Everything can be done taking into consideration 2m distancing, hygiene requirements, interpersonal respect, and hospitality towards visitors. Despite the economic challenges created by COVID-19, we’ve seen a growth of other innovations – glamping sites, new expositions, hotels. In 2020 many new tourism and accommodation initiatives have opened their doors to tourism in both Riga and in Latvia’s regions, offering the opportunity to develop diverse travel routes,” said Kaspars Rožkalns, director general of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.
National airline airBaltic has resumed most direct flights to Riga and has invested in protective measures, ranging from complimentary masks and sanitation towels to advanced air filtration systems to minimise the risk of airborne infection. And as international travel restrictions are being continuously lifted, Latvia is becoming increasingly accessible.
Visitors from countries that have demonstrated an infection rate lower than 15 cumulative infections per 100,000 inhabitants are exempt from the 14-day quarantine. The European average currently is 16, meaning approximately half of European countries are eligible for bypassing quarantine when traveling to Latvia this summer.