In response to high spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, the Cabinet of Ministers declares a state of emergency, which will remain in effect for three months as from 11 October 2021.
A state of emergency is a special legal regime during which the Cabinet has the right, in accordance with procedures and to the extent laid down in legislation, to restrict the rights and freedoms of State administration and local government authorities, natural persons and legal persons, as well as to impose additional duties on them.
To ensure compliance with the increased safety measures during the state of emergency, a wider-scale control of restrictions related to COVID-19 will be exercised with the involvement of various authorities, mobilising not only municipal police but also other institutions, including those of the Ministry of Health.
As from 11 October, face masks are mandatory for everyone on public premises, including in education institutions.
Not more than 10 persons who have not been vaccinated or have not had Covid-19 will be allowed to gather for private events. Up to 20 persons are allowed to gather for an outdoor event. Religious services, ceremonies and activities are permitted indoors and outdoors if at least 15 m2 of publicly available space is ensured per person and face masks are worn.
During the state of emergency, everyone in the public and private sector who is able to do so because of the nature of their job must only work remotely. Working on-site is permitted only for employees who ensure continuity of the work process and cannot perform work remotely at home.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated or recovered are allowed to be present in person in work premises indoors only on an employer’s assignment if the employee displays no symptoms of COVID-19 or if there is no suspicion of them being infected with COVID-19, and they hold a testing certificate or an employer-provided antigen test not older than 72 hours.
On-site or remote employees will be assigned by the employer.
Everyone working in the public sector (both for central and local government authorities) are obliged to get a vaccine against COVID-19. A certificate must be obtained by 15 November. Vaccination requirements in the private sector will also be extended.
As from 11 October, only vaccinated people or people recovered from COVID-19 will be allowed to take part in public events. Epidemiological safety requirements will also be increased there, and wearing face masks will be mandatory.
Cultural events will be held in the “green mode” only, face masks will be mandatory and there will be a limit to the number of visitors – up to 60% of room capacity. The maximum number of visitors permitted at a cultural event is 1000, divided into sectors of 300 persons each.
As from 11 October, for the next three months, retail services are prohibited at shopping centres (with floor area exceeding 1500 m2 and with more than five shops) on weekends and public holidays, except shops selling essential goods and providing household services.
Persons who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have not had the disease will have access only to shops selling basic necessities:
- grocery shops (with foodstuffs being 70% of assortment);
- pharmacies (including veterinary);
- animal feed shops;
- press sales outlets;
- hygiene goods shops (with hygiene items being 70 % of assortment);
- telecommunications goods and services;
- petrol stations.
Persons with interoperable vaccination or recovery certificates will also be allowed to do shopping in any indoor point of sales, where customer control and customer flow management must be provided. Also, opening hours are to be restricted: shops should close not later than 21.00. In shops and markets, customers and staff must wear their face masks properly, covering mouth and nose.
People with a Covid-19 certificate may continue to provide and receive services on-site, ensuring compliance with epidemiological safety requirements. At the same time, the scope of jobs that require a vaccination certificate is expected to expand.
Services related to entertainment and amusement indoors will noot be permitted.
Children under 12 without an interoperable certificate and children aged 12 and over with an interoperable certificate or a COVID-19 test taken at school not earlier than 72 hours ago are allowed to receive beauty treatment, catering and other services if accompanied by fully vaccinated parents of parents recovered from COVID-19.
People with a vaccination or recovery certificate will be able to have a meal in person at a public catering facility within opening hours limited from 6.00 to 21.00. Meals will be available for take away for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.
More information on Covid -19 control measures https://covid19.gov.lv/en/support-society/how-behave-safely/covid-19-control-measures
→ Information on travel abroad and entry to Latvia
· COVID-19 updates: https://covid19.gov.lv/, 24-hour helpline (calls within Latvia) tel. 8345
· Confirmation form: https://covidpass.lv/en/, tel. +371 67219111
· Centre for Disease prevention and Control (SPKC): https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv, tel. +371 67 387 661
· State Border Guard: https://www.rs.gov.lv/lv, tel. +371 67075616
· Information on the spread of COVID-19 and precautionary health and safety measures is available here.
· Information on COVID-19 testing is available here. (in Latvian)
· Information on applying for a COVID-19 vaccine is available here: https://manavakcina.lv/
· Information on COVID-19 security certificates is vailable here šeit