More Latvian lockdown info now available in English

The official state Covid-19 information website, https://covid19.gov.lv/  has been updated with more English-language material about the current month-long lockdown and overlapping state of emergency. It expands upon and clarifies previous official information and includes a table listing the various conditions and restrictions in place. We reproduce it below in full for your reference.

Covid-19 control arrangements during the period of strengthened security measures

(Last update 22.10.2021)

From 21 October to 14 November 2021, particularly strict safety arrangements have been introduced in Latvia in order to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19, which critically affects the ability of the health care system to provide health services to every resident.

The decisive action of every person is essential to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Everyone should carefully consider how to significantly reduce face-to-face contacts, comply with hygiene requirements and existing safety measures and restrictions. It is especially important for everyone to begin and complete vaccination against Covid-19.

For detailed information on safety measures and restrictions to reduce the incidence of Covid-19, please refer to the Cabinet of Ministers Order “Regarding the Declaration of Emergency Situation” and Cabinet Regulation No. 662 “Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection”, as both regulations operate simultaneously. Please search for clarifying information on the websites of sector ministries. 

General safety measures Every resident:
- must stay at his/her place of residence from 20:00 to 5:00 in the period from 21 October to 14 November;
- do not gather, do not meet people outside one’s household;
- observes general epidemiological safety requirements and security protocols or recommendations;
- reduces one’s contacts, also requests others to follow safety protocols, maintains distance, wears face masks properly, ventilates rooms, disinfects hands and ensures the availability of disinfectants;
- observes isolationhome quarantine and self-isolation provisions;
- prevents the risk of infection to others.
Work

- Work takes place remotely.
- Vaccinated* or those who have started vaccination can work on-site with a negative Covid-19 test if they are employed in industries of very high importance to the society or if the nature of work does not permit working remotely.
- Vaccinated on-site workers can be tested regularly by the employer.
- Every day on-site workers submit self-certification that there has been no known/deliberate contact with the infected person and they do not have symptoms of respiratory infectious diseases.
- Employees working on-site who have started vaccination perform screening tests.

- If, due to the performance of work duties, it is necessary to stay outside the place of residence from 20:00 to 5:00, self-certification must be completed.
- When leaving the place of residence for justified and urgent reasons, a completed self-certificate and identity document must be carried.
- The self-certificate must state one’s:
    - name, surname; 
    - personal identity number; 
    - address of the place of residence; 
    - reason and time of leaving the place of residence, date;
    - movement destination;
    - the name, address and management (contact) telephone number of the workplace.

Availability of health care services

Due to insufficient resources, mainly human resources, a state of emergency has been declared in medicine:
- The State Emergency Medical Service carefully assesses which calls are more urgent.
- The State Emergency Medical Service takes patients to the hospital that is less busy.
- Acute cases and treatment of Covid-19 cases are a priority in hospitals.
- Planned health care services in hospitals are limited/unavailable.
- Patients who received acute care in a higher-level hospital may be transferred to a lower-level hospital for further treatment or referred to continue treatment at home under the supervision of a general practitioner.

- If it is necessary to receive medical services, urgent veterinary care for animals, or make a visit to the 24-hour pharmacy during the period of strengthened security measures from 20:00 to 5:00, self-certification must be filled in and a personal identity document must be taken with you.
- The self-certificate must state one’s:
    - name, surname; 
    - personal identity number; 
    - address of the place of residence; 
    - reason and time of leaving the place of residence, date; 
    - place of receipt of the service.

Private transport - A private vehicle can carry members from the one household or two people, each from their own household.

- Up to three persons from several households:
     - if a minor is accompanied;
     - if a person in need of an assistant is accompanied;
     - if a person having objective mobility difficulties due to age or functional impairment is accompanied. 
 

- The following persons can travel together in a private vehicle, going to the place of work or service, or returning to the place of residence:
    - medical practitioners;
    - employees of the police, border guards, the State Security Service;
    - people working in operational services;
    - employees in the fields of defence and home affairs;
    - SRS officials, ensuring the continuity of the institution's operations;
    - inspectors of the FVS Border Control Department;
    - media workers.
Everyone must properly use face masks throughout the trip.

Public transport - Municipality and public transport service providers receiving grants from municipalities do not apply fare reductions.
- Passengers and the driver must wear a face mask properly throughout the journey, preferably an FFP2 respirator.
- Observe general safety provisions and regularly ventilate the vehicle.
- Urban and suburban public transport operates without exceeding 50% of its capacity:
- If it is not possible to control the entry and exit of passengers in the vehicle, seats in it shall be marked, ensuring the distance requirements; windows for ventilation shall also be kept open throughout the entire trip.
- The capacity of regional and interurban public transport is up to 80% (85% if it is required to pick up passengers at stops outside the regional importance routes).
Taxi - Taxi can carry:
    - one passenger,
    - or members of the same household,
    - or a passenger with a minor child or a person in need of assistance.
- From 20:00 to 5:00 a taxi service and commercial car transport service, as well as transport provided by the employer may be used:
    - to go to or from work;
    - to access the place of passenger traffic at the airport, port, railway station or bus station, return to the place of residence;
    - to go to or from a 24-hour pharmacy, psychological support or treatment institution, or veterinary medicine institution.
Education
Kindergartens - Kindergartens operate strictly subject to epidemiological safety requirements.
- Kindergartens are available for children (including on-call groups) whose parents or legal representatives cannot work remotely and cannot provide childcare at home.
- Fully vaccinated/recovered kindergarten staff do not need to take the Covid-19 test once a week.
- By 15 November 2021, kindergarten staff who do not have a vaccination or recovery certificate must get vaccinated; until then they perform their work duties with a Covid-19 test certificate or a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within the framework of the educational establishment screening. 
- Children in kindergarten are not tested and do not wear face masks, observe hygiene requirements.
- Employees wear face masks properly and implement general safety measures at all times.
Primary and secondary education

- Pupils' holidays has been extended until 29 October 2021.
- From 1 November 2021, 1st to 3rd grade pupils will study in person, strictly observing the general safety measures. 
- From 1 November 2021, 4th to 12th grade pupils will study remotely.
- From 15 November 2021, the learning process for pupils of all grades will be able to take place in person.

- By 15 November 2021, employees who do not have a vaccination or recovery certificate must get vaccinated; until then they perform their work duties with a Covid-19 test certificate or a negative Covid-19 test result obtained within the framework of the educational establishment screening.
- Students take a routine screening test.
- Pupils and staff use face masks properly during their stay in school. 
- Non-overlapping of flows of different classes and groups is ensured.

Colleges and universities - The study process is organised remotely until 14 November 2021.
- On 15 November persons with a vaccination or recovery certificate resume in-person studies.
Physical activities
Sports training - Individually or one household outdoors.
- Provision of sports training services is not allowed.
Nature trails and objects - Individually or one household outdoors, without crowding, without meeting other visitors.
Trade
Stores, incl. in the shopping centres, outdoor sales points, distance sales

- Working hours can be from 6:00 to 19:00.

- The following points of sale are available indoors:
- grocery stores (with foodstuff being 70% of the assortment);
- pharmacies (including veterinary);
- opticians;
- pet food stores;
- press outlets; 
- bookstores;
- hygiene goods stores (with hygiene items being 70% of the assortment);
- telecommunications goods and service providers;
- flower shops;
- ticket offices at bus and train stations;
- fuel stations.
 
- Fuel stations, 24-hour pharmacies can work around the clock.

- Sales representatives and customers use face masks properly.
- Not less than 25 m2 per customer of the retail space.
- The number of visitors is regulated by the number of shopping carts, trolleys, bags, etc.
- The person responsible for implementing epidemiological safety measures is identified at the point of sale.
 
- Only groceries may be traded in markets and permanent, regular street outlets.
- In markets and permanent, regular street outlets everyone uses face masks properly.
 
- Points of sale closed for on-site visits can organise the distribution of goods purchased remotely outdoors.
- Points of sale, operating on-site, organise the distribution of goods purchased remotely separately from the flow of on-site visitors.
- Remotely purchased goods can also be received with delivery.

Services
State, municipal and essential economic services - Implemented remotely.

- Business services related to entertainment, gambling, betting, attractions, beauty care, wellness, active recreation, physical activities, sports, tourism (except accommodation and foreign travel), photo and video services (excluding photos for documents), face-to-face consultations, collective hunting are not provided.

- On-site service is allowed if:
    - face-to-face contact does not exceed 15 minutes,
    - the provider and the recipient have a vaccination or recovery certificate,
    - the service is provided by prior appointment.

- On-site service is allowed for more than 15 minutes to ensure fundamental human rights, security, health care, etc., if:
    - the service provider has a vaccination or recovery certificate,
    - the service recipient has a vaccination, recovery or test certificate.

- Working hours can be from 6:00 to 19:00.
- Working hours are not limited to state-provided assistance (emergency medical care, ensuring safety and order, etc.), for tourist accommodation, delivery, emergency and emergency utilities services.
Catering - Can work around the clock to provide food for pick-up or delivery.
- At least 15 m2 per person must be provided indoors at the place of receiving the service.
- All persons must maintain distance of 2 m and wear face masks properly.
- Going to a 24-hour catering place to get a takeout meal between 20:00 and 5:00 is not a valid reason to be away from the place of residence, unless the person is on duty or performs work responsibilities on-site in the evening and at night. We invite you to use the food delivery service if possible.
Culture
Cultural sites - Cannot operate.
Cultural events - Not organised on-site.
- We invite you to enjoy virtually #Ēkultūra
Operation of amateur art groups - Takes place remotely only.
Gatherings
Events - Public events are not held.
- Private events can take place within one household at the place of residence.
Meetings of different households

- Representatives of two households may meet to:
    - provide care for a person;
    - provide support to a single person (living alone in a household);
    - parents whose minor children live in another household can meet with the children (unless isolation, home quarantine, self-isolation is required). 

Pickets, demonstrations, processions - Are not organised.
Baptism - A baptismal ceremony is held in case of emergency.
- Up to 10 people from no more than 2 households may meet in a baptismal ceremony.
- The number of 10 persons does not include persons related to the provision of baptism.
- Everyone from the age of 7 wears face masks properly.
Funeral - Funeral ceremonies can take place outdoors.
- Up to 20 persons may gather for a funeral ceremony.
- The number of 20 persons does not include persons related to the provision of the funeral ceremony.
- Everyone from the age of 7 wears face masks properly. 
Religious activities 

- Places of religious activity may be visited individually or by members of one household, provided that:
    - 15 m2 per person,
    - the total number of visitors does not exceed 20% of the maximum possible number,
    - everyone uses face masks properly.

- The places of religious activity can start to work from 6:00 and work until 19:00. 

Marriages - Marriage registration is only allowed in the presence of the persons wishing to marry and two adult witnesses.
- Official or cleric of the Registry Office must have a Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate.
- Attending persons must use face masks properly, as well as observe all safety precautions.
Trips abroad
Travelling to other countries - We invite you to be aware of the risks associated with going abroad in a pandemic situation. 
- We invite you not to visit high-risk or very high-risk countries and carefully consider the need for travelling abroad. 
- You can find more information on going abroad and entering Latvia during the pandemic on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Entering Latvia Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
  - Complete the confirmation form covidpass.lv
- The Covid-19 test is not required; exception - when returning from very high-risk countries.
- Self-isolation is not required, exception - when returning from very high-risk countries.
- Arriving in Latvia and going to one’s place of residence or stay from 20:00 to 5:00, self-certification must be completed.
- Confirmation form covidpass.lv must be completed
- When arriving in Latvia from low-risk countries, a test must be performed before starting the trip, self-isolation does not have to be observed.
- When arriving from high-risk countries, a test must be performed before entering Latvia, as well as self-isolation must be observed upon arrival.
- When arriving from high-risk third countries, a test must be performed before and after entering Latvia, as well as self-isolation must be observed. In this case, an important reason for entering Latvia is required.
 - Arriving in Latvia and going to one’s place of residence or stay from 20:00 to 5:00, self-certification must be completed.
Transit through Latvia - Persons transiting through Latvia will have to cross the country within 12 hours of submitting the arrival confirmation form on the covidpass.lv website.

 

* Who is considered a vaccinated person?

Starting from the 15th day after being fully vaccinated with any other vaccine registered by the European Medicines Agency or an equivalent vaccine registered by a regulator or recognised by the World Health Organisation in accordance with the instructions for use of the vaccine:

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer) (two doses required);
  • Spikevax (Moderna) (two doses required);
  • Janssen (one dose required).

Starting from the twenty-second day until the ninetieth day after receiving the first dose of the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)* vaccine:

  • In order for a person to be considered vaccinated against Covid-19 three months after receiving the first dose, the person must have received a booster dose by the 90th day;
  • after being vaccinated, the person continues to have the status of a vaccinated person, but if the booster dose is not received by the 90th day, the person can no longer be considered vaccinated.

*For travel purposes, two doses + 14 full days are required

Vaccination certificate for persons recovered from Covid-19

Persons who have recovered from Covid-19 may obtain a vaccination certificate if, within 180 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive Covid-19 test, one out of two doses of Covid-19 vaccine has been received and 14 days have passed since vaccination, excluding the day of vaccination.

 

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