In compliance with the highest security measures, 476 passengers, including 203 Latvian citizens, were transported by ferry from Germany to the Port of Riga

Photo: LETA/Edijs Palens

Approximately at 11 pm on Thursday evening, Tallink's ferry from Sassnitz, Germany, with 476 passengers on board, arrived at the Port of Riga. Many of the passengers have previously had problems returning to their home countries due to travel restrictions. 203 Latvian citizens have returned home by the said ferry.

The ferry was welcomed by the representatives of the Port Police, the State Police, the State Border Guard, the Customs, the State Emergency Medical Service and the Freeport of Riga Authority - all of them equipped with protective equipment.

Special tents were set up in the port territory where medical examinations were arranged for the passengers and where passengers could be tested for Covid-19. In total, 46 samples were sent to the laboratory.

Passenger disembarkation was organized in several flows with the aim to comply with the necessary security measures. During the sea voyage, all passengers had to implement stringent safety measures on board to avoid physical contact. Passengers waited in the cabins to avoid crowding while the vehicles’ exit was secured. On departure/exiting the ferry, the travelers were screened by the cynologists; the alcohol concentration in the drivers' exhalation was also checked.

In total, 41 vehicles departed from the ferry to Lithuania and 38 vehicles to Estonia, the said vehicles were escorted to the Latvian border with the assistance of the State Police.

The Embassies of these countries have arranged buses to transport home residents of Estonia and Lithuania, which did not have a car.

28 Ukrainian citizens arrived to Riga by ferry yesterday as well - the Ukrainian Embassy has assumed responsibility for taking care of them.

After leaving the ferry, all passengers were required to fill in a questionnaire issued by the State Border Guard, confirming that they would spend two weeks in self-isolation.

The last passenger left the ferry at 2: 05, the entire procedure of passenger reception took almost 3 hours.

In total, more than 110 people were involved in passenger transportation from Germany to Riga by “Romantika”’ ferry, half of them being Tallink employees and another half - representatives of various responsible institutions and services.

The Freeport of Riga Authority would like to thank all those who worked selflessly to comply with the highest standards of security in organizing the return of residents to their home countries.