As of 1 August 2020 higher education institutions will be allowed to restart the study process in a face-to-face (full time) mode.
On Tuesday, 28 July, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia adopted a list of precautionary measures recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in education institutions. These decisions include a number of specific measures that will govern the study process for foreign students in Latvian higher education institutions (HEI).
As of 1 August 2020 HEIs will be allowed to restart the study process in a face-to-face (full time) mode. Previously as a part of Covid-19 containment measures, all study processes were only allowed to take place remotely (distance studies).
However, the new regulation also allows HEIs to modify the study process arrangements, by offering a number of courses of study modules remotely or mixing face-to- face and remote studies. This will be of special significance to foreign students who have been admitted to an HEI in Latvia, but may be unable to arrive in Latvia due to travel restrictions (or inability to acquire D visa) from countries with high spread of Covid-19 (more information on travel restrictions can be found here).
As the regulation stipulates, students, who have enrolled for full-time studies or exchange programmes at Latvian HEIs, are allowed to enter Latvia via border crossing points of external border of the European Union, if a higher education institution or college has issued a written certification on the matriculation of the student and organisation of studies on site.
These changes are a part of a wider government framework that is aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 in Latvia. The framework is based on the following principles – informing, distancing, hygiene and monitoring of persons’ health condition. To support the HEIs, the Ministry of Education and Science has also developed a set of specific recommendations. These include the use of HEI student hostels , organization of practical placement periods, student exchange programmes, hygiene rules, organization of the study process to observe social distancing and others. The recommendations also set out the processes that need to be followed in case of a Covid-19 infection at an HEI.
The spread of Covid-19 remains low in Latvia. In related news government has also approved eased distancing requirements at cultural events as of August 1.