Government communication with public is subpar, says Justice Minister

The government's communication with the public about COVID-19 may have to be handed over to professionals, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns said in an interview to Latvian Radio December 9.

The politician gave the government's current government communication a six out of ten. At the same time, he said that the government faces a crisis of this scale for the first time. The widespread disinformation is also hampering effective communication.

According to Bordāns, the explanations are skimpy – about 20% of what should be explained. Politicians are aware of this, so the problem will be addressed.

Ombudsman Juris Jansons said on Latvian Television that it is unacceptable, for example, to change a decision on Friday and then to expect it to be observed on Saturday. Jansons also said that information on COVID-19 restrictions is not sufficiently available to some of the public in a way that they understand – for example, people with mental disabilities. Information should also be available to those people who do not have computers and the Internet, as well as those who do not habitually use social media.

The Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said that, for example, sending a text message to all residents about COVID-19 restrictions would not be effective - if the information came too often, then people would just ignore it.

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