NCCL invites adding Norway to the Baltic Bubble

22 May 2020

This week, Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia sent a letter to Latvia‘s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Transport thanking the Latvian government for their fast and decisive actions that has helped to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, which has lead to easing restrictions and opening borders for passenger travel between all three Baltic countries. The letter also thanked the authorities for allowing direct flights to and from Oslo and Frankfurt starting May 18 until June 9.

However, the main purpose of the letter was requesting to explore possibilities of adding Norway to the "Baltic Bubble", more specifically, to allow direct flights between Riga and Oslo past June 9 (for now, directs flights have been confirmed for the time period May 18 and June 9) and lifting or shortening the 14-quarantine requirement for passengers arriving from Norway.

As the letter, signed by the Chairman of the Board and the Executive Director of NCCL, argues, Norway similarly to the Baltic countries has managed to gain control over the spread of the COVID-19. Over the past ten days the number of new confirmed cases has been under 25 per day for Norway's population of 5,37 million.

Norway is an important trade partner and the 8th biggest foreign investor in Latvia whose investments in Latvia are worth more than 325 million EUR. There are currently 260 Norwegian companies registered in Latvia, giving work to more 6500 people in Latvia. In 2018, these companies paid more than 281 million in taxes to the Latvian state. Renewing passenger travel between the two countries is essential to allow these businesses to continue their operations, fulfill their contractual obligations, and overcome the crisis.

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