Latvian police on high alert over holiday weekend

Police will increase operations over the holiday weekend to make sure people are observing restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus, according to acting State Police Chief Andrejs Grišins on April 30.

In addition to regular daily operations the police force is going to pay special attention to those violating the emergency measures. This includes making sure that people are self-isolating and the monitoring of public locations, beach patrols, recreational areas, and not holding any public or private events.

“The State Police urge people to be conscientious and be aware that the main goal of the restrictions is to not spread the virus and protect people from severe consequences,” said Grišins.

Police have already performed 65,000 checks and have written up almost 2,000 people. However Grisins said people as a whole are understanding and in over 90% of cases the fines are for distancing, quarantine or self-isolation violations.

As previously reported, to mitigate the risks of further spread of Covid-19 among the population, the Latvian government adopted stricter regulations to limit gatherings of people in private and public events, which it said were "in line with the epidemiological situation." The new restrictions on physical proximity apply to public indoor and outdoor activities and establish the rule that no more than two people may meet and that they must maintain a distance from each other of at least two meters.  

Any public events, as well as meetings, marches and pickets are prohibited. Indoor sports and religious activities are also prohibited. All encounters in public spaces - indoor, outdoor and communal areas - must comply with the two-meter distancing rule as well. The only exceptions to the two-person, two-meter rule are persons living in the same household or their parents and their minor children if they do not live in the same household. More than two persons may also meet in one place if it is an essential part of their workplace duties.

At the request of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Police will be able to request information from electronic communications merchants on specific individuals who may have the status of infected or contact persons to conduct epidemiological investigations and verify the accuracy of the information provided by the person - in other words, quarantine-breakers will in theory be easier to trace.

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