This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Latvia set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are travelling to Latvia for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Everyone who intends to enter Latvia is required to complete and submit an electronic form no earlier than 48 hours before entering Latvia. See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for detailed information on requirements for travellers arriving in Latvia.
Entry into Latvia from the EU, EEA, Switzerland, the UK and low risk third countries where the cumulative incidence is below 75 cases per 100,000, is permitted regardless of the vaccination status of the traveller. Travellers with COVID-19 certificates are permitted to enter Latvia from high-risk countries (where the cumulative incidence is above 75 cases per 100,000) outside the EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK.
For travellers who are not vaccinated or have not recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, entry into Latvia from high risk countries (where the cumulative incidence is above 75 cases per 100,000) outside the EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK is permitted for essential travel only. This is defined as for work, studies, transit, medical treatment, funerals, family reunions, returning to your residence, or accompanying a minor. The traveller must indicate the specific purpose of their visit in the electronic form submitted prior to their entry into Latvia. Substantive proof of the specific purpose for travelling to Latvia must be presented to the State Border Guard or the State Police if requested.
Requirements for self-isolation and testing
Requirements for self-isolation and testing for travellers to Latvia are conditional on the country of departure and on whether the person is vaccinated, or has recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months. Prior to travelling to Latvia, you should check the list of countries included in the weekly COVID-19 risk assessment, published every Friday by the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
If you travel from a low risk country (with cumulative incidence below 75 cases per 100,000 population):
- Travellers who hold a COVID-19 certificate and children below the age of 12 are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate and testing prior or after arrival in Latvia. Children aged 12 and above must hold a COVID-19 certificate or follow the rules for non-vaccinated travellers
- Travellers, including children aged 12 and above, without Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate are required to present evidence of a negative result of a PCR COVID-19 test, taken no earlier than 72 hours before boarding or before crossing the Latvian border, or an antigen test, taken not earlier than 48 hours before boarding or before crossing the Latvian border. Passengers who are unable to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test will be denied boarding or entry into Latvia. The certification must be in English, French, Russian or in the official language of the country from where the journey begins
- Travellers entering Latvia from a low risk country are not required to self-isolate after arrival in Latvia
If you travel from a high-risk country (where cumulative incidence is above 75 cases per 100 000 population):
- Travellers who hold COVID-19 certificate can enter Latvia without additional requirements. If they have children under 12 years of age travelling with them, they are all exempt from the requirement to self-isolate. However, in such cases, children under 12 years of age must not have close contact with people outside their household, must not attend public events, including children’s groups, and must not use public transport for 10 days after leaving the high-risk country. Children aged 12 and above must hold a COVID-19 certificate or follow rules for non-vaccinated travellers
- Travellers without a COVID-19 certificate, including any accompanying children aged 12 and above, who enter Latvia from high-risk countries are required to present evidence of a negative result from a PCR COVID-19 test, taken no earlier than 72 hours before boarding a direct flight to, or prior to entering, Latvia. Alternatively, travellers can also present evidence of a negative result from an antigen test, taken not earlier than 48 hours before boarding a direct flight to, or prior to entering Latvia. Additionally, travellers are required to self-isolate for 10 days after arriving in Latvia from a high-risk country. The requirement to self-isolate applies to children of all ages travelling with parents who do not have a COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate or have not recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months. Travellers may exit self-isolation early if a PCR test is taken seven days after departure from a high risk country and the test result is negative
- Travellers without COVID-19 certificate, including children aged 12 and above, must take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours after entry into Latvia if they have arrived from a high-risk country outside the EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK. If the test is negative, travellers will need to self-isolate for 10 days. If the test is positive, travellers must go into quarantine at their own expense at a hotel approved by the Latvian Government. The list of approved hotels is on the Riga City Council Welfare Department website
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
Latvia will only accept the UK’s letter version of proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. They will not accept digital proof. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Further details on self-isolation are on the Latvian Government’s COVID-19 website:
- if you are required to self-isolate you must carefully monitor your health for the period of self-isolation, including by taking your body temperature twice a day (in the morning and evening)
- if you experience mild flu-like (increased body temperature, cough, sore throat) symptoms for at least two days you should call 8303. The dispatcher will then evaluate on a case-by-case basis and refer you to a testing point or send a medical unit to you if you are unable to travel to a testing point
- in case of sudden onset of at least one of the following symptoms – dry cough, fever, shortness of breath – restrict contact with people nearby, but in case this is not possible, keep a distance of at least two metres from them, and call 113 immediately (State Emergency Medical Service).
If you have arrived in Latvia and are self-isolating but wish to leave Latvia before the end of your self-isolation period you should call the Latvian State Police on 110 and let them know of your intended departure.
Keep up to date with information from your tour operator, transport or accommodation provider on the impact on any existing travel plans.
Check country-specific FCDO Travel Advice for details of travel restrictions in the neighbouring countries Estonia and Lithuania.
You should follow the local quarantine measures of the country that you are in.
Regular entry requirements
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
if you are travelling to Latvia and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Latvian government’s entry requirements. Check with the Latvian Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit you may need
if you stay in Latvia with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit
Any time you have spent in Latvia or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
At Latvian border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
There are separate requirements for residents of Latvia. If you are resident in Latvia, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Latvia guide.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
Make sure your passport is:
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Latvia, or any other Schengen country
- less than 10 years old
The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.
You are required to have health insurance when you enter Latvia. This must include repatriation costs. Those who require visas for Latvia (other than EU family members) will need to show their policies upon arrival in Latvia.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Latvia.