Health Ministry: there is no valid way to check hockey fans' vaccination status

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In order to allow people into the hockey arena, an information technology (IT) solution to prove vaccination would be needed, Health Ministry (VM) said May 25.

The Ministry sent Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš a letter informing about the arrangements for allowing people vaccinated against Covid-19 to watch the hockey championship in person.

VM  said that it will be possible to check whether viewers have been vaccinated or overcome Covid-19 with a European Union (EU) digital certificate, which is scheduled to be available in test mode in Latvia on June 1, if the Saeima adopts the necessary amendments. They were submitted by VM to the Saeima on Friday.

“The risk of getting sick is low enough for vaccinated or Covid-19 people to be safe to gather in the arena, but the checking of the fact requires a legal basis and technological solution,” said VM.

The Ministry of Health said that the EU Covid-19 certification of vaccination and disease will be available for use in Latvia on 15 June. 

VM also pointed out that allowing in the viewers who aren't vaccinated against Covid-19 poses a big risk. VM does not consider that a negative Covid-19 test should be a criterion. There is not enough laboratory capacity for testing either, said VM.

VM also added that only a small proportion of Latvia's population - 10% - has been fully vaccinated so far. Therefore, the Cabinet, the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs should seriously assess possible risks of discrimination in the event of allowing spectators enter the Hockey Championship.

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