No mask, no service from Thursday in Latvia

The Latvian government decided November 17 that it will in future be prohibited to provide goods or services to persons who do not wear face masks.

Also, workplaces will be able to determine COVID-19 contact persons who must observe house quarantine.

The new rules take effect from November 19.

At present, a number of people still do not use face masks at all or use them inappropriately, exposing themselves and others to the risk of being infected with COVID-19.

Therefore, the government decided that the organizer of any event or a service provider shall be prohibited from providing services to a person who does not wear a mouth and nose cover, or who wears it incorrectly.

The organizer of the event, the service provider and/or the owner or operator of the building or business premises (including employees) will be subject to administrative responsibility, placing the onus on them not to turn a blind eye to rule-breakers. Compliance with the regulations will be controlled by the local government police and the State Police.

In a parallel announcement, the procedures for determining contact persons have been modified to reduce the burden on epidemiologists.

In the future, if the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) determines that an infected person has visited a collective public place (e.g. pre-school education institution, educational institution or collective workplace), the epidemiologist will inform the management of the institution.

The management will then have the task of identifying persons who have been in close contact with the infected person according to certain criteria: 

  • the person or persons have been in personal contact at a distance of less than two meters, or in an enclosed space for more than 15 minutes;
  • there has been physical contact (e.g., handshake, hugging);
  • there has been direct contact via fluids (e.g. cough).

Based on these criteria, the person responsible for the workplace will create a contact list to be sent to the SPKC and inform the contact persons that they have a duty to observe home quarantine, as well as to contact a GP in order to initiate medical observation and, if necessary, receive a sick leave note.

 

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