To contain the spread of COVID-19 in Latvia, the Cabinet of Ministers declared a state of emergency for three months effective 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.
The Government of Latvia had adopted a set of extraordinary safety measures effective from 21 October to 23.59 on 14 November, declaring a strict curfew for all residents and considerable restrictions on movement and mutual contacts.
As from 15 November, face masks are mandatory for everyone on public premises, including in education institutions.
From this day on, not more than 10 persons will be allowed to gather for private events. Up to 20 persons are allowed to gather for an outdoor event.
Religious ceremonies and activities indoors for persons without a vaccination and/or recovery certificate are permitted only individually, when there are no gatherings for vaccinated persons and those recovered from COVID-19, if at least 15 m2 of publicly available space is ensured per person and face masks are worn. The time of a visit shall not exceed 15 minutes.
From 15 December 2021, all employees working on-site (or outside their place of residence) must present a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate.
The requirement for on-site workers to present a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate will remain in place after the end of the state of emergency until the end of the pandemic. Until the certificate of vaccination or recovery has been obtained, but not later than 15 December, on-site work must be carried out upon presenting a testing certificate issued at least than 72 hours before. The employee shall perform the test for obtaining a testing certificate at his/her own expense, unless otherwise agreed with the employer.
As from 15 November, only vaccinated people or people recovered from COVID-19 are allowed to take part in public events. Epidemiological safety requirements will also be increased there, and wearing face masks are mandatory.
Cultural events are held in the “green mode” only, face masks will be mandatory and there is a limit to the number of visitors – up to 60% of room capacity. Only personalised tickets and seats shall be available. The maximum number of visitors permitted at a cultural event is 500.
As from 15 November, persons with a vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate may visit all shops upon presentation of the certificate. Face masks are mandatory.
Opening hours are from 6:00 to 21:00. The limitation on opening hours does not apply to retail outlets for essential goods.
As from 15 November, persons without a vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate are allowed to visit the following shops indoors (with a separate entrance from the outside and an area available to visitors not exceeding 1500 m2):
- grocery shops (with food, hygiene products, animal feed, press being 70% of the assortment);
- pharmacies (including veterinary);
- medical product stores (with medical products being 90% of the assortment);
- pet food shops;
- press outlets;
- hygiene goods shops (with hygiene items being 70% of the assortment);
- fuel stations.
Outdoor markets and permanent outdoor retail places are available.
Everyone should wear face masks properly in outdoor retail places.
Persons with a Covid-19 certificate are allowed to continue providing and receiving services in-person, while observing epidemiological safety requirements.
It is forbidden to provide economic in-person services related to entertainment, gambling, betting and attractions (including in water parks, entertainment and amusement centres, trampoline parks).
Children under 12 without an interoperable certificate and children 12 years of age and older with an interoperable certificate or a negative COVID-19 test taken at school at least 72 hours before may also receive beauty care, catering and other services accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered parents.
Services can be provided from 6:00 to 21:00, except essential services, the opening hours for which are not limited.
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.
Further details on safety measures and restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 – see here
For further information
- Cabinet Order No 720 “Regarding Declaration of the Emergency Situation” https://m.likumi.lv/ta/id/326729-par-arkartejas-situacijas-izsludinasanu
- Cabinet Regulation No 360, “Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of the COVID-19 infection” https://likumi.lv/ta/id/315304
- Information on the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19
- 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 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 available here