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Masks to be compulsory on hiking and nature trails

Latvia's government on December 22 added some more dos and don'ts to its list of measures designed to combat the spread of COVID-19, reported LSM's Latvian language service.

The first measure involves a ban on municipal firework displays over the festive period. The measure was taken in order to reduce crowds, though the Minister of Health, Ilze Viņķele also mentioned as a reason for the ban the potential risk of injuries caused by fireworks, which could further overload hospitals already working at full capacity and more. The decision applies to municipalities, not individuals.

The second measure stipulates that people on outdoor nature trails and at open-air museums need to wear face masks. The government has been actively pushing people to get out and get fresh air on hiking trails and the like, but this has sometimes resulted in crowding and difficulty in keeping social distance. The owner of the specific object will have to anticipate such situations and place instructions on the mandatory use of face masks at the entrance.

Latvia remains in a state of emergency until at least January 11. On December 17, the government approved additional restrictions in order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, urging people to observe a three week "quiet period" during the holidays with minimal social contact. This includes additional restrictions on trade and assembly.

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