Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection to lapse
Last update 11.09.2023
Following the World Health Organisation's (WHO) statement on the lifting of global emergency situation regarding public health and the time to move to the long-term management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection will expire in Latvia. In order to ensure continuity of norms relevant to public health, they will be included in the Epidemiological Safety Law and Law on Patient Rights.
According to WHO, there is a decreasing trend in fatalities caused by COVID-19, a decrease in COVID-19-related hospitalisations, incl. in intensive care units, as well as the population has a high-level immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The number of persons with confirmed COVID-19 infection and the number of tests performed in 2023, as well as the number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19 as a primary diagnosis, continues to decrease also in Latvia.
It is planned that the Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection and Cabinet Regulation “Epidemiological Safety Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 Infection” will be effective until 31 December 2023. As a result of the adoption of the draft law, binding regulations of local governments will lapse. In addition, the Epidemiological Safety Law is being promoted to take over the norms relevant to public health: the mandate on COVID-19 certificates, the regulation for the Epidemiological Surveillance Information System and the Joint Vaccination Information System to preserve norms essential to public health, and will amend the Vaccination Rules and Rules on the Registration of Infectious Diseases.
Amendments will be made to the Law on Patient Rights to take over the procedure for compensation in case of a harmful effect on the patient’s health or life due to adverse reactions to the vaccine against COVID-19 infection.
Local authorities will be able to distribute personal protective equipment to authorities for functions other than those related to reducing the spread of COVID-19 infection. The Ministry of Health will take over all individual funds in the national reserves purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic and use them further as needed. Continued monitoring of the situation in Latvia and transmitting of information to international organisations remain essential, therefore diagnostic and reporting procedures for COVID-19 infection cases should be maintained.
It is not necessary to fill out a passenger locator form or present a valid EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate proving vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test result while travelling within the EU, however, some countries may request it depending on the current epidemiological situation in the region. It will therefore be necessary to provide the residents of Latvia with the opportunity to obtain such a certificate.
The experiences gained during the COVID-19 pandemic will help improve and further manage the infectious disease cases, outbreaks and epidemics and ensure the protection of public health in the area of epidemiological safety. The draft laws are still to be considered by the Saeima.