Returning travelers banned from public transport in Latvia

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On March 31 the Latvian government supplemented the state of emergency measures implemented due to the current Covid-19 novel coronavirus pandemic with a ban on people who have come to Latvia from abroad from using public transportation, according to Latvijas Vēstnesis (Latvian Herald).

The amendments to the emergency measures place the responsibility on those who have just arrived from abroad not to expose other persons to risk by minimizing contact with others. This also includes not having guests and not going to meetings, as well as not using public transportation.

As previously reported, the penalty for non-compliance with compulsory emergency epidemiological requirements will be up to EUR 2,000 for natural persons and up to EUR 5,000 for legal entities. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said that many people had been asking the government to "give the police teeth" to protect the public from people whose selfish attitude threatens society at large.

So far, penalties ranging from € 10 to € 350 have been imposed for non-compliance with epidemiological rules. Health Minister Ilze Viņķele told reporters via a virtual press conference that with the Covid-19 outbreak likely to continue over the next month, the government will probably decide next week to extend the state of emergency for up to three months.

The Emergency Law as it stands provides for one extension for one reason, the health minister said, stressing that the government would have the ability to put an end to the state of emergency at an earlier point if the situation in the country improves in the meantime.

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