Most Covid restrictions to be lifted from April 1 in Latvia

The Latvian government decided at its cabinet meeting on March 22 that as of Friday, April 1, most Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted while maintaining some exceptions in 'risky' environments.

Director of the State Chancery Jānis Citskovskis said that the requirement for the Covid-19 certificate would remain for employees in healthcare, education, and prisons. In other areas, the employer will have the right to decide whether employees should hold a Covid-19 certificate.

The requirement to wear masks will be lifted in most places as of April 1. Masks will still be required in public transportation, social care establishments, and healthcare. Elsewhere, including retail and education, no masks will be required. Service providers or organizers of events will have the right to require masks, certificates, or distancing in a particular place or event if they desire. 

As of April 1, the requirement to present a Covid-19 certificate when arriving in Latvia from the EU, EEZ, Switzerland, or the UK will be lifted. The conditions regarding travel from other third countries remain unchanged. 

The requirement that Covid contact persons observe quarantine remains only in healthcare and social care establishments. Others must only wear an FFP2 respirator for seven days after contacting someone with Covid-19.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts said the measures represented "an increase in personal responsibility" but cautioned that the future course of Covid-19 in the Fall and beyond remained to be seen. 

State-paid professional antigen tests will be used more widely, and a testing certificate will be issued after the antigen test. In the case of a positive professional antigen test result, a Covid-19 certificate of recovery will also be issued. State-paid PCR tests will only be performed after a doctor's referral in cases where there is an increased risk or the result of the test affects the course of treatment. It remains possible to carry out self-paid PCR tests.

Screening tests will remain in medical establishments, social care institutions, prisons, and special educational establishments.

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