State of emergency and “House sitting” - new Covid-19 restrictions
State of emergency and “House sitting” - new Covid-19 restrictions

From 21 October to 14 November, the government of Latvia introduced a four-week period of strengthened security measures or strict restrictions on the movement of the population.

From Monday, 11 October, an emergency situation is declared in Latvia for three months in order to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19 infection, not to overburden the health care system and save as many lives as possible. In addition, on 20 October Latvian government confirmed a nearly month-long lockdown - 'house sitting' that will apply across the country to vaccinated and unvaccinated persons alike, from 21 October to 14 November.

All residents of Latvia are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce physical contact with other persons outside their household. During this period of time curfew is introduced and all residents must stay at their place of residence from 20:00 until 5:00. Movement outside is allowed only in case of urgent need by filling in the self-certification form and bringing passport or eID card with you.

A private vehicle can be used by people from one household or two persons from different households (exception, up to three persons from several households can travel together with a person in care).

All public and private events are banned, and private gatherings are allowed within a single household. It is still allowed to visit lonely people to care for them and provide necessary support.

Public catering sites are allowed to provide food only for takeaway or delivery. However, it must be taken into account that without an objective reason (e.g. going to work or receiving medical services), movement of the population outside is prohibited from 20:00 to 5:00.

During the strengthened security measures period, economic services and sales points are open from 6:00 to 19:00. Only the basic needs stores are operational - food stores, pharmacies, opticians,  pet food stores, press, hygiene products, telecommunication products, books, flower shops and fuel retail stations. Distance selling will be allowed on condition that the purchased goods are distributed outside the store premises. During the strengthened security measures period, only the essential governmental services will be provided for the population, such as the issuance of identity documents or social care. Entertainment related services, as well as beauty treatment services, will not be allowed.

Cultural sites - museums and related art and history exhibits, libraries, archives, cultural centres, art galleries, exhibition halls, open-air stages, theatre buildings and their outdoor spaces, concert halls and their outdoor spaces, as well as places where amateur collective classes are organized will be closed for visitors.

All employees, as far as the nature of the work allows, will be required to work remotely, but it is allowed to be in the workplace in person only with a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative test.

On-site study process is suspended. The study process is organised remotely till 14 November for both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Persons with a vaccination or disease certificate will resume studies on-site on 15 November. Note that during the strengthened security measures higher education institutions may not be providing any services on site.

The State Police, as the leading control authority of restrictions, together with its cooperation partners, remains fully prepared to ensure the control of restrictions related to Covid-19 infection. A plan has been prepared for law enforcement and resources are planned to ensure adequate and appropriate oversight of the introduced government restrictions. The State Police will continue to work under enhanced regime, involving all State Police officials, including criminal police officers and cadets of the State Police College, to ensure proper control. Compliance with the movement restrictions of the residents will be increasingly controlled, as well as control of restrictions will continue in other areas, such as public transport, trade, beauty care, catering, and service provision places. Police will also continue to monitor restrictions on gathering and self-isolation.

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