The emergency situation has been extended until 11 January, introducing stricter safety measures and restrictions
In order to achieve more targeted limitation of Covid-19 and fight against the threat posed by the virus to the health and life of the Latvian population, stricter and more precise safety measures are being introduced until 11 January. They aim to work together to create conditions in which the virus cannot spread. This means that at the end of 2020, efforts must be made to dedicate the holiday period for a united but at the same time individual fight against the virus. Additionally to safety measures aid to the economic operators and working population will be provided. At the same time, the government is consistently working on the availability of the vaccine.
On Tuesday, 1 December, the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted a decision on the extension of the duration of emergency situation, also adopting decisions to simplify safety measures by facilitating the control of the spread of Covid-19 infection.
Everyone should wear a face mask on public transport and in premises outside the home where more than one person is present. Face masks may not be worn by children under the age of seven and people who cannot use them due to obvious functional impairment.
As of 3 December, principle 2 + 2 shall be observed by everyone in Latvia in their daily routine - two meters, two people. So a distance of two meters must be observed and meetings must be limited to two people.
Until 11 January, operation of all cultural sites, exhibitions, as well as fairs, including Christmas markets, shall be prohibited. Libraries are allowed on site to loan out books and, subject to epidemiological security measures, museums are still available to visitors.
Private events shall be prohibited, except than within a single household. It is allowed to visit people who live alone and need care, observing the 2 + 2 principle.
At funerals and christening ceremonies held in urgent cases, no more than 10 people (excluding those directly involved, such as the clergy) may gather outdoors, from no more than two households, using mouth and nose covers.
In the meantime, no more than 20% of the maximum number of people may be present at the same time in places of religious activity.
Organized meetings, pickets and marches are still allowed, but a maximum of 25 people is allowed to attend, subject to epidemiological safety requirements - a physical distance of two meters and subject to the requirements of the organizer.
Stricter safety measures are also being introduced in the field of education. The on-site study process shall take place only in kindergartens and from grade 1 to grade 4. An area of at least 3 square meters per pupil must be provided. From 3 December, kindergarten employees shall wear masks at all times. From 4 January, both pupils and teachers shall wear masks during lessons and outside the learning process at schools.
The completion of higher education, adult continuous vocational training, vocational in-service training, and non-formal education programmes shall be held only remotely. On the other hand, practical skills that cannot be acquired remotely can be acquired in person only individually - one teacher with one student.
The practical parts of interest education can take place in person only individually. Practices of choirs and wind instruments are not allowed in person.
From 3 December, indoor sports training on site shall only take place for athletes of the Latvian adult team, Latvian Olympic team, or Latvian Paralympic team, and also adult professional athletes of teams of international and highest leagues (professionals whose main occupation is sports).
Other indoor sports training shall take place only individually or in pairs with a coach, while group training for up to 10 people shall only take place outdoors. It should be noted that tents or other temporary structures, if they have walls, are also perceived as indoors, but covered areas without walls are considered to be outdoors.
Shops and services
From 3 December, 15 square meters per visitor must be provided in shops and service points. Information on the number of people allowed must be clearly visible at the entrance. In small rooms, visitors can go one by one.
Economic service providers, shops and event organizers must ensure that people who do not wear a face mask or do it incorrectly (without covering both their mouth and nose) are not allowed on the premises and services are not provided to those who do not comply with epidemiological safety requirements.
All shops and the shopping centres, regardless of the total sales area, shall be open on weekdays as usual. However, only pharmacies, including veterinary pharmacies, may operate on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, while only groceries (except alcohol and cigarettes), hygiene products and fuel may be sold in shops.
On weekdays, everyone works with the same quadrature constraints. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, sales points may not be open, except - pharmacies (including veterinary) and shops selling food (except alcohol and cigarettes), hygiene products, fuel.
Subject to epidemiological safety measures, beauty care providers - hairdressing and manicure service providers - may operate.
From 7 December, in order to protect people in public transport, the number of passengers must not exceed 50% of the vehicle's capacity. If it is not possible to control the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, the vehicle must be provided with instructions on the use of seats to ensure physical distancing. In public transport, face masks must be worn by both the driver and passengers, including children from the age of 7.
For additional security, although Covid-19 is mostly spread within the country and in most cases the infection cannot be traced, stricter control of people entering Latvia will start from 7 December. To make sure that Covidpass.lv is filled in, thus facilitating infection control.