Responsible authority: The Ministry of Health

State-declared emergency period: 13 March – 14 April 2020

State and local government institutions will assess and, as far as possible, ensure remote provision of on-site services.

Employers must take steps to ensure that those with symptoms of acute respiratory infection are not employed in work involving potential risks to the health of others.

Health institutions, social care institutions and prisons/detention centres will restrict visits except with permission from the head of the institution and with a view to providing core functions.

Leaving self-isolation is prohibited without a doctor’s approval! 

Transportation:

  • Public transport from now on will limit the number of passengers, in order to ensure social distancing.
  • Business trips and missions to countries and territories affected by Covid-19, where special precautionary measures are required after returning, must be cancelled, postponed and not planned, as far as possible. This is in line with information published on the website of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC).
  • Tourism service providers, as far as possible, must offer to postpone and not plan tourism trips to countries affected by COVID-19 and areas where special precautionary measures are required after returning. Again, this is in line with information published on the website of the CDPC;
  • State authorities must call on everyone to refrain from foreign trips.
  • International passenger transport through airports, ports, by bus and rail transport are cancelled from 17 March 2020, other than passenger transport by state aircraft and military transport.
  • The Minister for Transport is responsible for making exceptions regarding international passenger services.
  • The Minister for the Interior and the Minister for Foreign Affairs may make exceptionsto the movement of persons and vehicles.
  • Movement of persons and vehicles through airport, port, railway and road border crossing points at the European Union’s external border, as well as at border crossing points intended for European Union internal border traffic, other than freight transport, are banned from 17 March 2020;
  • Latvian nationals and foreigners living permanently in Latvia can return to Latvia through border crossing points.
  • Foreigners can leave Latvia through border crossing points.
  • Foreign diplomats working in Latvia, as well as persons arriving in Latvia for humanitarian reasons and to pursue national interests, will be able to enter and leave Latvia through border crossing points.
  • Short-term and long-term visas for entry to Latvia will not be issued by Latvian diplomatic and consular missions abroad as long as the state of emergency exists.
  • Foreigners residing lawfully in Latvia until 13 March 2020 and whose legal residence period has expired after 13 March 2020 may continue to reside in Latvia during the state of emergency.
  • Foreigners wishing to continue to reside in Latvia with a residence permit must submit the documents requesting or registering the residence permit electronically, confirming the application and the attached documents with a secure electronic signature or sending by post.
  • Prior to returning to Latvia, all persons applying for repatriation flights must confirm in writing that they will comply with special precautionary measures – self-isolation.

Trade:

  • The Ministry of Economics, in cooperation with traders, will introduce measures to ensure social distancing in trading venues.
  • Failure to comply will incur administrative or criminal responsibility.
  • Companies must primarily ensure the supply of food, medicinal products, essential goods and raw materials necessary to produce food or medicinal products for the domestic market.
  • Additional emergency restrictions on distribution of food, agricultural, forest and fishing activities until lifting of the state of emergency can be imposed.

Social gatherings:

  • All public celebrations, entertainment, cultural, sporting and recreational events, including nightclubs and discos, as well as meetings, pickets and religious activities are banned.
  • The government has also decided to ban informal gatherings regardless on the number of participants at the same time at cultural, entertainment, recreation, sports and religious venues.
  • All fitness clubs and gyms must be closed.
  • Any private arrangements are prohibited, other than holding funeral ceremonies outdoors, but those present must maintain a distance of two metres between themselves and respect other epidemiological safety measures.
  • Cultural, entertainment, sports, and recreational venues can be open only from 8:00 to 22:00.
  • Simultaneous assembly in public indoor and outdoor areas, without respecting a distance of two metres, may be allowed for:
    •  not more than two persons;
    •  persons living in the same household or a parent and their minor children, if they do not live in the same household;
    •  persons performing work or official duties.
  • Shopping centres must be closed on weekends and holidays, except for food shops, press kiosks, pharmacies (incl. veterinary pharmacies), vaccination cabinets, opticians, pet food, dry cleaning, hygiene and household stores, as well as building and garden supply stores, which can open.
  • Ministry of Health will adopt a plan of measures for ensuring social-distancing at tattoo studios, piercing studios and beauty salons.
  • Providers of tattooing, piercing and beauty services should collect the following client data for epidemiological monitoring purposes: name, surname and phone number of a client.

Education and children:

  • Pre-school education institutions and institutions that ensure childcare services must ensure the work of on-duty groups.
  • Parents of a child attending a pre-school educational institution must provide written confirmation once a week that the child and its family have not visited any foreign country over the past 14 days and have not been in contact with anyone affected by COVID-19, and they (the parents) have no other possibility to provide childcare.
  • All educational establishments must suspend on-site learning and ensure remote training.
  • State-centralised examinations are suspended; however, the examination in foreign languages will take place during the period from 12 May to 15 May 2020.
  • All types of on-site extramural education are suspended, including all cultural, sports vocational and interest-related education programmes (training, competitions & rehearsals).

Health:

  • Employers must ensure that anyone with symptoms of acute respiratory infection is not employed in work involving potential risks to the health of other people.
  • Anyone who has returned from a country affected by COVID-19 ‒ and anyone they have had contact with ‒ must stay in strict isolation: cannot leave home , and must:
    •  Monitor their state of health for 14 days after leaving that country by measuring their body temperature twice a day (in the morning and in the evening) and communicate with their family doctor and other medical personnel.
    •  Call the emergency line 113 immediately in case of signs of acute respiratory infection (rhinitis, cough, throat inflammation, increased body temperature, respiratory problems).
    •  Self-isolation in their place of residence (home quarantine).*
      • Does not apply to employees of transport and passenger transport companies, crews of passenger, cargo or test/maintenance flights/trips returning from work trips if there are no symptoms and has been no contact with persons infected with Covid-19.
    •  Not receive guests and avoid public places and institutions.

Disobeying self-isolation requirement can result in administrative fine of EUR 350 or criminal penalty up to 8 years in prison.

Buying essential goods or food:

  • Arrange home supply but avoid contact with the supplier.
  • Supply of food or goods with the help of relatives who leave them at the door.
  • If seeking help from local government social services, avoid direct contact with the social worker.
  • In the absence of any other solution, visit shops wearing a facial medical mask when there are fewer people in the shop and keeping a distance of two metres from vendors and other shop visitors as well as observing hand and cough hygiene.
  • Companies must primarily ensure the supply of food, medicines and essential goods as well as raw materials for production of these products for the domestic market

State budget:

  • The responsible ministries will restore the material reserves of the State and organise the purchase of additional goods to ensure that that national and health measures are carried out, if necessary by exceeding the amounts specified in the State Material Reserves.
  • The following can allow overtime work in line with the Labour Law but not over 60 hours a week: enterprises owned by the Ministry of Health, the State Emergency Medical Service and medical or in-patient clinical facilities, first responders of the State Medical Emergency Service that are not medical professionals, as well as the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the State Revenue Service, and personnel of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Ministry of Health personnel will be paid for necessary overtime work through additional funding from the State budget programme“Funding for unforeseen circumstances”.
  • The Ministry of Health will request the additional financial resources required to pay for overtime work from the State budget programme.
  • The following need not apply the Law on Public Procurement for goods and services in the process of ensuring supplies necessary for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 and in order to provide appropriate medical treatment and organise measures and actions in this regard: the State Emergency Medical Service, the Provision State Agency, the State Police, the State Fire and Rescue Service, the State Border Guard, the Ministry of Interior Information Centre, the State Revenue Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Defence.

Public authorities:

  • Meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers may be organised remotely or using videoconferencing, conference calls or other IT tools, in line with procedures set by the Prime Minister.
  • The Chair of the Supreme Court may, in consultation with the chairs of regional courts and district (city) courts, set procedures and conditions to suspend or not examine scheduled court hearings or otherwise restrict proceedings related to the conduct of oral judicial proceedings in all Latvian courts.
  • The Council of Sworn Bailiffs and the Council of Sworn Notaries may impose restrictions or decide to stop receiving visitors on-site in their places of practice.

The Ministry of Health has a right to:

  • prohibit pharmaceutical wholesalers from exporting medicines intended for Latvian market to third countries and dispatching to European Economic Area countries medicines included in the list approved by the State Agency of Medicines.
  • assess the epidemiological risks and agree with health sector experts to reduce the range of healthcare services delivered by healthcare providers.
  • limit the right of healthcare professionals to render their healthcare services at several healthcare providers at the same time.

Law enforcement:

  • enforcement of short-term prison sentences by penal institutions must be postponed.
  • Director of the Prison Administration is responsible for coordination of all emergencies that may occur in penal institutions;
  • transporting of prisoners as a convoy to court hearings, must be stopped and be customised to remote court hearings. Except cases when prisoner needs to be moved to National Prison Hospital at Olaine Prison and convoy to prison after sentencing,
  • transporting of prisoners from one penal institution to another must be stopped.
  • enforcement of administrative penalties – administrative detention – shall be postponed. Statute of limitation shall not be considered.
  • repatriation and transfer of prisoners who have been sentenced or detained by another country serve the sentence or detention in the Republic of Latvia should be postponed.