'Lockdown' will cost Latvia EUR 200 million, says Finance Minister

The costs associated with the planned 'lockdown' will be around €200 million in the national budget, Finance Minister Jānis Reirs (New Unity) said at the meeting of the Saeima Budget and Finance Commission October 19.

The money is needed for compensation in those sectors of the economy which will be limited between October 21 and November 15.

“We look very closely at supporting measures for entrepreneurs so that inadequate aid does not appear, to reduce spending compared to January, February and March of this year [Covid-19 previous outbreaks] by setting strict criteria for support.[..] This aid is up to €200 million,” Reirs said.

The Minister stressed that if a lockdown were not introduced, a crisis at hospitals and the entire health care system would cost more, €250 to €300 million. “Not to mention the lost lives,” the minister added. 

“The funds for overcoming the Covid-19 health crisis have already been budgeted for the entire year and allocated at the beginning of the year. Additional funds of €250-300 million were estimated by health experts in a scenario that an uncontrolled healthcare situation started. Yesterday's decision and the future decisions taken by the government will ensure that this uncontrolled state of the healthcare system will not occur. As a result, such funding will not be needed,” Reirs said.

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