The government has decided to extend the state emergency until February 7. Before, the date of the end of the state of emergency was set to be January 11.
But in an effort to head off the temptation people might feel to celebrate the New Year with a party, to reduce spread of COVID-19 during the upcoming holidays, the government decided that as of Wednesday, December 30, until the end of the week, there will be a night-time curfew, meaning that people will not be allowed to leave their place of residence between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00.
The curfew will be in place from the evening of December 30 to the morning of January 4 and from the evening of January 8 to the morning of January 10, to cover the weekend when Orthodox Christmas is celebrated.
According to Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, this decision has been made to reduce opportunities of people to gather.
Only people on their way to and from work will be allowed to be outside. Consequently retail outlets will be able to open only from 06:00 until 21:00 to give staff the chance to get home before the curfew deadline. The penalties for ignoring the rule were not specified, but police said they fell within the scope of current emergency regulations and that they were ready and willing to enforce the restrictions.
The last time a curfew was introduced in peaceful conditions in Latvia was in May 1934, after the coup of Karlis Ulmanis.