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Latvian government announces further action against Covid-19

On Friday, March 12, the Latvian government decided on further restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus and prevent the third wave of the new, more contagious strain from spreading.

It was previously reported by LSM that the government was debating two models: one with slightly more restrictions on the job and transport sector than there currently are, and another with much more stringent rules. At the government meeting on Tuesday, the more lenient model was favored, but there were still clarifications to be made.

Work

On Friday, the government decided that as of Tuesday, March 16, only essential workers will be allowed to work onsite. For others, it will be mandatory to work remotely. The employer shall determine the employees working onsite. The employer also has the right to unilaterally decide on an employee working remotely. 

The restrictions will not apply to manufacturing or other jobs that cannot objectively be carried out remotely.

In State and municipal institutions, the employer must provide personal protective equipment and a space of 15 square meters per person. If that cannot be ensured, work must be organized in shifts. 

Education

As of March 16, kindergartens will only be intended for children of persons who are considered essential workers and cannot work remotely.

The government debated three versions of organizing school education outdoors, with varying regions and age groups to allow it. It was decided that schools in the ''safe'' municipalities published every week by the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC) where the cumulative incidence rate is below 250 will be able to organize outdoor classes up to five times a week for all age groups. In these municipalities, the outdoor classes may gather up to 20 people.

These outdoor classes will be optional and both the school will have a choice whether to implement it and the parents will make the choice whether to bring their children to these classes.

In two weeks, March 30, these regulations might be reviewed again.

Transport

The government also decided that public transportation would be subject to stricter epidemiological monitoring and more ventilation would be required. However, it was not decided to reduce the maximum fill of the vehicle, as planned earlier in the week. 

As reported in LSM's other story, the government clarified rules on self-isolation regarding returnees from third countries.

 

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