Lockdown must go hand in hand with vaccination: PM Kariņš

On Wednesday, October 20, the Latvian government agreed on a 'lockdown' starting Thursday, October 21 and lasting until November 15. Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said at a briefing after the meeting that the lockdown must go hand in hand with vaccination.

Kariņš said:

"We are all going into a tougher mode for four weeks. But on the 15th [November] we will return to today's rules which are already rather restricting for unvaccinated people. [..] It is possible that there will be tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people so they cannot hold the whole country captive as they currently unfortunately are doing.

"Those who have not yet vaccinated - now is the time to do the job. Nothing will get easier for unvaccinated people after November 15."

Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts addressed those who have not vaccinated: 

"Every day you are doubting and hesitating brings huge losses for everyone. You, others, the Latvian society. It is lost knowledge, lost mental health, lost income.

"We could end this crisis in six weeks," said Pavļuts, adding that the capacity to provide vaccines for everyone is more than enough.

Asked how compliance with the rules would be ensured, Kariņš said that the police are capable and would be ready to control the situation. In addition, nothing would be open between 20:00 and 5:00, with the exception of gas stations, 24-hour pharmacies, tourist accommodation, vaccination points, freight and passenger transport and related services, and emergency services. For being outside after curfew, a self-certification form would have to be filled, as provided by the State Police.

The main rules of Latvia's lockdown are covered in our other story.

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