Failure to wear masks could be penalized in Latvia

The Ministry of Justice (TM) has prepared amendments to the law, which requires the police to impose a warning or a fine of up to €50 on residents for not using mouth and nose covers in public places, the Deputy Secretary of State of TM, Laila Medina, told LETA October 19.

The sanctions apply to the cases where according to Cabinet regulations, mouth and nose covers are mandatory, said Medina.

Currently, Cabinet regulations provide that, from 7 October to 6 November, on public transportation, drivers who are not separated by a physical barrier from passengers, as well as passengers, with the exception of children under the age of 13, shall use mouth and nose covers.

Similarly, from 14 October to 6 November, residents, with the exception of children under the age of 13, employees who are not separated from visitors by a physical barrier, shall use mouth and nose masks at culture and exhibition sites, trading venues and public transport services. Mouth and face cover should also be used in places where religious activity is carried out.

However, despite the mandatory nature of the regulations, no system of penalties for non-compliance is in place, meaning those flouting the rules have to contend with little more than disapproving glances and words of criticism.

The amendments will also have to be adopted by the Saeima. Medina explained that the amendments did not foresee a specific time of entry into force, as it is left for further discussions in the Saeima.

At present, the Law on Management of the spread COVID-19 of infection provides for liability for non-compliance with isolation, self-isolation, quarantine or home quarantine, as well as assembly restrictions. It stipulates a fine to a natural person between EUR 10 and EUR 2000 and to a legal person between EUR 140 and EUR 5000.

Non-compliance with the obligation imposed on a person to include information in the personal supervisory information system and/or covidpass.lv questionnaire is subject to a fine of EUR 10 to EUR 2000.

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