In a statement to the media, Riga Vice Mayor Linda Ozola explained that the purpose of the rule is not to “cancel or limit entertainment in the capital”, but to enforce public order, since the local government police received more than 10,000 calls for noise last year.
On Wednesday, July 12, the City Council amended the binding rules by imposing an obligation on owners of outdoor sales establishments to ensure the use of sound-enhancing equipment and musical instruments in such a way that the noise they create does not disturb the surrounding population.
In the event of an infringement, local government police will have the right to force entrepreneurs to reduce the music volume and/or to stop the outdoor terrace from working for up to 24 hours.
If the outdoor establishment owner fails to take into account local government police requirements, the police will also be able to impose fines on individuals between €50 and €5,000, while on legal persons between €100 and €10,000.
If such a violation is repeated, the local government police will be able to decide on the cancellation of the outdoor sales permit, the Rīga City Council said.
In the future, when applying for outdoor sales permits, catering companies will have to indicate whether sound-enhancing equipment or musical instruments are intended to be used on the outdoor terrace. Owners of terraces who have already received permits this year for spring and summer seasons don't have to take out new permits. But that condition will take effect when applying for permits for the autumn and winter seasons.
The binding rules will enter into force with a positive opinion from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.