Nearly all services will require Covid-19 certificates in Latvia

From October 11, nearly all services and activities will have to be organized so that all staff and visitors present a Covid-19 certificate of vaccination or recovery, or a negative Covid-19 test, the government decided September 28.

The government backed the introduction of 'green', 'yellow' and 'red' labelling for events and services, where green means everyone present has a certificate of vaccine or recovery, yellow includes people with very recent negative test results, and red means the participants' statuses are unknown.

The colors should not be confused with the so-called 'traffic light' system currently used to inform the public about the epidemiological risk prevalent in the country. 

Services and indoor events

Services and indoor events will have to take place at least in the yellow mode as of October 11. This applies to places and areas such as catering, culture, entertainment, accommodation, museums, libraries, sports, amateur activities, beauty, wellbeing, educational services.

The regulation on shopping venues has not been amended for the time being. These services can still be provided in the red mode, but the entrepreneur can also switch to green and yellow modes at their own discretion.

Red mode, where services can be obtained without a Covid-19 certificate or negative test, are postal service, public transport, private gatherings, religious events, peaceful protests. A private gathering in the red mode allows 20 people indoors, 50 outdoors.

At the same time, the red mode will also allow all outdoor services and events, as well as services indoors where the service provider and the recipient meet one-to-one. 

Families with children under 12 years of age can be present in the yellow and green mode without a certificate. Children aged 12 and over will have to provide a certificate or test, including the screening test made at school if it was conducted over the past 72 hours.

Easier tests, clearer rules

Given that a large part of the services will be available with tests, rapid antigen testing will be facilitated – not only laboratories but also all medical practitioners will be able to carry them out and issue certificates at once.

The new rules also require that one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine will no longer be considered enough to gain a certificate. A full course of vaccination must be completed and 15 days must pass before getting a certificate.

However, in the expert group's view, the new restrictions still do not go far enough, said Vladislavs Vesperis, representative of the Cross-Sectoral Coordination Centre (PKC). Vesperis said that the rules are coming into force too late, and there was also a lack of rules on non-compliance and infringement.

Health Minister Daniels Pavļuts agreed that the effectiveness lies in control, but added that self-control also plays a major part. On Twitter he said "FINALLY, the government has adopted the autumn epidemiological regulations - simplified, revised regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, defining this autumn's policy on vaccination obligation, testing and safety measures."

 

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