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Malls and churches to be open over Xmas, New Year

The Latvian government loosened some of its epidemiological measures December 21 even while stressing the threat posed by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

All stores in large shopping malls will be able to open at weekends and public holidays. Under current regulations, only supermarkets and selected other 'essential' stores such as pharmacies and opticians are allowed to open in malls at weekends. The changes will take effect from this week.

It was also decided that on New Year's Eve, there will be no ban on the provision of services and events at night after 23:00, to allow people to welcome the New Year in bars and other venues, but all other requirements such as maximum table allocations, client number limits and physical spacing remain valid. 

Churches and places of worship were also granted concessions with even people who do not have a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate now allowed to visit them.

No more than 10 indoor visitors may be present at the same time, providing at least 15 square meters per visitor and visitors must also wear FFP-2 respirators provided by the relevant religious organization prior to entry.

Churches will also be responsible for ensuring that gatherings in an epidemiologically safe environment do not take place at the same time as individual visits from people without vaccination or disease certificates. However during the pre-Christmas period, the requirement to stay in the church without a Covid-19 certificate for no longer than 15 minutes is waived.

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