Government leans toward moderate restrictions in Latvia

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On March 9, the government examined two scenarios regarding the Covid-19 situation, one was stringent, the other more lenient. The government is currently leaning toward the more lenient one.

On Thursday, the government will continue to decide on a more detailed, improved model. New restrictions could be in place for three weeks, until Easter.

In the scenario “A”, which has so far gained the government's support, reducing the spread of the virus is based on remote work, much like it has been so far. Only manufacturing industry companies would work onsite, with strict rules in place. Working onsite elsewhere could only take place with the permission of the head of the company or establishment, and onsite services would only take place with sign-up.

The scenario aims to reduce the maximum number of passengers on public transport to 30% of transport capacity. It is currently 50%. Municipal parking fees for private transportation might be waived temporarily.

It is planned to focus on targeted identification of Covid-19 outbreaks through mass testing and targeted screening.

Kindergartens would only work for the children of persons who cannot work remotely.

The government will continue to decide on the adoption of the scenario on Thursday. It is necessary to develop a more detailed course of action by examining proposals of the Ministry of Education and Science (IZM), which provide that educational institutions can continue to work on-site in municipalities with lower morbidity levels, allowing a certain number of lessons to be organized in the outdoor area.

By next week, the working group should define the indicators that can be reassessed and gradually reduced. It is also necessary to develop criteria for action in the event of a rapid increase in Covid-19 prevalence. In such a case, movement restrictions might also be introduced, only essential workers could work onsite, and the healthcare system would then only provide urgent health services.

A total of four scenarios had been developed, but only two were ultimately presented to the government, dubbed scenarios “A” and “D”. The “A” option is quite lenient, but the “D” option provides for maximum caution. Option “B” does not foresee any changes, but the “C” version would provide for relaxing the existing restrictions.

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