Health Ministry proposes immediate lockdown in Latvia

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On Monday, October 18, Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts will urge the Crisis Management Council to impose strict safety measures in the country due to the spread of Covid-19, which would immediately reduce the number of contacts in society by at least 40%, the Ministry of Health said.

The Minister for Health will propose the introduction of a safety package that was developed in spring as a contingency option but was never imposed:

  • no sports, entertainment, culture (cinema, theatre, concert), amateur, catering, well-being, gathering, religious and other activities shall take place on-site;
  • on-site work only takes place in manufacturing, construction, critical infrastructure, and to provide continuity of public functions;
  • after this week's school holidays, three weeks of school would be online, no extracurricular activities would take place; kindergartens would work for the children of parents who must work onsite;
  • a maximum of 10 persons from two households would be able to gather indoors and outdoors;
  • in public transport, if the passenger rate is above 50%, windows must be open, no fare discounts are applied, FFP2 masks should be used, compliance with the measures should be closely monitored;
  • in all workplaces, all workers must undergo daily health checks and three times a week rapid antigen tests;
  • working day onsite reduced to 6 hours;
  • curfew between 19:00 and 06:00;
  • increased checks and control of violations;
  • non-essential travel limits.

Possible additional restrictions are being discussed by the Crisis Management Board on Monday and will need to be agreed by the Government for their entry into force. It is possible that what the government decides differs from the so-called 'D+' concept outlined above.

According to the Health Ministry, the new safety measures must enter into force immediately for them to take effect already on Wednesday. Each day is of importance. After three to four weeks of strict measures, the public will be able to return to the current regime, starting with the vaccinated population, and within two months to normal life, Pavļuts forecast.

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