On Tuesday, 30 June, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to partially reduce certain measures restricting the spread of Covid-19, seeing as the healthcare system has been strengthened and, as a result of epidemiological safety measures, the incidence of Covid-19 in Latvia is relatively low. The spread of the infection will be monitored continually, and restrictions will be renewed if ever the situation worsens.
Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš remarks: “The spread of Covid-19 in Latvia is being purposefully controlled; however, morbidity rates are still rising in the rest of the world. Until Covid-19 is completely eradicated and appropriate medicines or vaccines have been created, everyone must be responsible both to themselves and others by observing proper hand hygiene, avoiding crowding, and, especially during the holiday season, carefully considering the need to go abroad. It has been possible to reduce restrictions in Latvia for two reasons. First of all, thanks to all of the people who have been following the safety guidelines in their daily lives under these challenging conditions. Secondly, we have strengthened the healthcare system and are now able to both track the spread of the virus and be prepared for new cases, if any are to arise.”
The epidemiological safety measures set by the Cabinet of Ministers have allowed us to keep the prevalence of Covid-19 in Latvia at a relatively low level, with the 14-day cumulative morbidity rate lower than 1 case per 100,000 inhabitants, which is much less than the average rate in the EU (16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). A significant portion of Covid-19 cases is related to infections that occurred outside of Latvia. This is why the need to travel abroad must be considered with particular caution.
From 1 July, the use of mouth and nose coverings on public transport is no longer mandatory; however, it is still recommended, especially if there are a lot of people on the public transport. In places with a high flow of people and where crowding could occur, covering one’s mouth and nose is strongly recommended. It is mandatory to use a mouth and nose covering when traveling by public transport to a place of self-isolation after returning from abroad. The use of a mouth and nose covering is mandatory, if it is requested by private or public service providers or event organisers.
From 1 July, there is also a change in the restrictions on gatherings: until 31 July, no more than 100 persons may gather in indoor premises with an area of up to 1000 m2 and no more than 500 persons in larger premises indoors. In turn, no more than 1000 persons may gather outdoors. The decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of 30 June envisages that as of 1 August, as many as 3000 persons will be allowed to gather outdoors, provided that the epidemiological situation in the country does not worsen.
In order to expand testing and to be able to detect possible outbreaks in a timely manner, everyone has the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19 for free on weekdays from 8:00 to 20:00, on Saturdays from 9:00 to 15:00, and on Sundays from 9:00 to 12:00, by calling 8303 and making an appointment beforehand. It is possible to arrive to the testing point by private transport, on foot, or by bicycle.
From 1 July, there is no time limit for outdoor sporting events anymore. However, the restrictions on working hours for gyms, fitness clubs, and similar businesses remain in force; they may open no earlier than 6.30 in the morning and close no later than 24.00 in the night.
The restriction to provide an area of at least 4 m2 per indoor visitor in public catering places has also been eased. As of 1 July, restaurants and cafes must provide an area of 3 m2 per visitor.
The latest amendments to Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 360 of 9 June, “Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection”, can be viewed here in more detail: www.mk.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/epidemiologiskas-drosibas-pasakumi-covid-19-infekcijas-izplatibas-ierobezosanai-speka.
For reference, the epidemiological indicators substantiating the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers:
- as of 26.06.2020, the 14-day cumulative Covid-19 morbidity rate in Latvia is 0.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
- the proportion of primary positive Covid-19 tests has decreased to 0.1%
- during the two weeks that preceded 26.06.2020, up to 40% of Covid-19 cases were related to infections that occurred abroad rather than in Latvia
- no outbreaks of five or more Covid-19 cases in high-risk areas have been reported for more than four weeks
- on 26.06.2020, there are 8 patients being treated in inpatient facilities in Latvia with a confirmed Covid-19 infection
Press Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers
Telephone: +371 67082919