Until 7 February, in order to reduce the risk of infecting each other with Covid-19, all residents of Latvia must stay at their place of residence on the weekends (the night hours from 22.00 to 5.00 from Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday).
Therefore, from 22 January to 23 January, as well as on 29 and 30 January and 5 and 6 February sales and service outlets will be open from 6.00 to 21.00, so that employees can get from home to work and back without breaking the rules. Restrictions on working hours will also apply to public catering places, with food and drink still available for take-away only.
Movement at night is allowed by filling in a certificate for:
- Persons going to or from a place of work or service and performing work or service duties.
- Those in need of medical care, including veterinary medical care.
- Providers and recipients of emergency services, as well as those on-call at night, the specifics of whose work preclude them from working remotely.
- The opening hours of gas stations, the provision of public transport services and emergency and emergency utilities are not restricted at night.
- Taxi service can be used by a person:
- to go to or from work;
- to receive emergency services;
- to go to their place of residence after entering Latvia;
- to go to an airport, port, bus station, train station.
- Only one passenger (or with minors) can be in a taxi.
- During the movement in a curfew period, a person must bring with him/her an identity document (passport or ID card)
Grant for the working capital flow
A company can receive the support if:
- the turnover for the month for which the support is requested (November or December) is at least 20% lower than the average turnover in August, September and October 2020 combined;
- and is at least 30% lower than in the corresponding month of 2019 (does not apply to companies registered in 2020).
- The support is 30% of the total gross wage on which wage taxes were paid in August, September, and October 2020.
- Applications for the grant for November or December can be submitted until 15 January 2021.
Downtime allowance for companies and their employees
- The downtime allowance shall be granted for employees in the amount of 70% of the average monthly gross salary for the period from 1 August to 31 October this year.
- Employees of a micro-enterprise will be able to receive support in the amount of 50% of the average monthly gross salary for the 3rd quarter of this year, as indicated in the quarterly declaration.
- Regardless of the current salary, the downtime allowance from 1 January 2021 will not be less than EUR 500 and no more than EUR 1000 for a full month.
- In addition to the downtime allowance, the State Social Insurance Agency will also grant a supplement of EUR 50 for each dependent child under the age of 24, for which the employee is subject to personal income tax relief.
- The employer may pay its employees the difference between the downtime allowance and the full salary received so far.
Allowance for part-time employee salary subsidies
- Within the framework of the support measures the employee will receive support in the amount of 50% of the average monthly gross salary for the period from 1 August to 31 October of this year but not more than EUR 500.
- The employer will be obliged to pay the difference between the salary subsidy and the full salary received so far.
Support for self-employed and patent payers
- For a self-employed person operating under the general tax regime and a recipient of royalties who has not registered as an economic operator, support is provided in the amount of 70% of the average income from economic activity or royalties in the 3rd quarter of this year, but not less than EUR 500 and no more than EUR 1000 per full month.
- A self-employed person - a micro-enterprise taxpayer may receive support in the amount of 50% of the average monthly income from economic activity for the third quarter of this year, but not less than EUR 500 and no more than EUR 1000 per full month.
- The patent payer has a fixed downtime allowance in the amount of EUR 500 per full month. It is available if there is a valid patent during the support period.
- In addition to the downtime allowance, the SSIA will also grant a supplement of EUR 50 for each dependent child under the age of 24, for which the person is subject to personal income tax relief.
How does one apply for the allowance?
- You can apply by filling in the application form in the SRS Electronic Declaration System (EDS). The application form will be available in the EDS from 1 December of this year.
- For employees of the company, the employer submits both an application for downtime allowance and a salary subsidy, but the employee receives the support to his/her account.
- You can apply for the allowance for November until 15 December, for December - until 15 January, and for January - until 15 February.
From 12 January to 25 January only the following shall operate:
- pharmacies, including veterinary pharmacies,
- fuel stations,
- points of sale where the following groups of goods may be sold:
- hygiene goods (list of goods in Latvian);
- essential household goods (list of goods in Latvian);
- mobile phone prepaid cards;
- tobacco products, herbal smoking products, electronic smoking devices and their liquids;
- animal feed and goods;
- press publications;
- public transport tickets;
- mouth and nose coverings and individual protective equipment;
- home-made agricultural products (explanation in Latvian),
- flowers and Christmas trees.
Distance selling and e-commerce are not restricted, incl. the delivery of goods at home and via parcel machines, as well as the receipt of goods in stores.
The wholesale of any goods in wholesale trade bases, which are necessary for both retail stores and the operation of companies, production, etc. is not interrupted.
Yes, the sales restriction also applies to street sales and market sales.
The provision of services is limited.
If the provision of the service is not possible without the purchase of goods, for example, the purchase and installation of new tyres or car parts in a car repair shop, then the sale of goods is allowed.
Distance sales and e-commerce of any goods are allowed - the purchase of goods with a distance agreement, delivery at home and via parcel machines, as well as the delivery and receipt of goods in stores is allowed, adhering to safety preconditions.
Yes, public catering places can operate on any day, providing take-away meals. Alcohol may also be sold for take-away in catering establishments. The purpose of safety measures is to prevent crowds and gathering.
The purpose of emergency restrictions is to ensure that people do not risk their own and others’ health by meeting others and spending time in the same room for a long time. Therefore, in hotels, the solution is to deliver food to the room for guests to enjoy there, rather than in a common area such as a dining room or bar.
As well as open-air trail visits, museum outdoor expositions will still be open, ensuring one-way movement. Face masks must be worn by anyone over the age of 7 when on nature trails, in outdoor museum spaces, and near environmental and natural sites that are visited by a large number of people.
The availability of the #Ēkultūra resource has been compiled and updated in one place, inviting residents to enjoy various cultural events virtually during an emergency situation, while receiving e-services available in the field of culture remotely without visiting the institution in person.
#Ēkultūra resource is available in one place on the Ministry of Culture website - www.km.gov.lv
- Group work-outs (sports activities) may only take place outdoors, with no more than 10 people (not including the coach and athletic staff) per group. Using public changing rooms is not allowed.
- Indoors work-outs and training does not take place.
- Outdoor rental of sports equipment is allowed.
- Indoor work-outs and training without restrictions are allowed to Latvian national athletic teams, Latvian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and to members of teams in major leagues of teams sports.
- Conducting sports events (e.g. competitions) is prohibited.
- Scheduled competitions of international Olympic sports federations (including the planned official training sessions before such competitions) for teams are be allowed, if taking place without an audience.
- Competitions of international and major team sports leagues are allowed, provided that competitions take place without an audience.
The number of passengers in vehicles must not exceed 50%.
If, due to the nature of the vehicle, it is not possible to control the entry and exit of passengers, seats in the vehicle shall be marked, ensuring the distance requirements.
Passengers are encouraged to evaluate the necessity to use public transport and to choose a time when there are fewer passengers, i.e. not during “peak” hours when people go to or from work.
Masks must be worn.
Face masks may not be used on public transport by children under the age of 7 and persons with mobility impairments or mental health disorders.
Public transport must not be used by residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 or who have been identified as contact persons.
Yes, masks must be worn because taxis are public transport. From 7 December, face masks must be worn by everyone - both the driver and passengers, including children from 7 years of age.
- Wash or disinfect your hands before putting it on and before removing it.
- The face mask must completely cover your face from the nose to the chin, fitting snugly (the nose must be covered).
- Do not touch the face mask or your face with unwashed hands.
- After having used the face mask, put it in a plastic bag rather than in your pocket or bag.
- If your face mask is made of fabric, wash it at a temperature of at least 60 °C after every use.
- Do not reuse disposable face masks! First place them in a plastic bag, and only then dispose of them.
- If the face mask gets wet, it must be replaced with a clean and dry one.
- The face mask must not be partially removed (for example, lowered on the chin or neck) and then reused.
- When removing the face mask, do not touch the front of it.
At present, the state is organising a procurement of reusable hygienic masks, to be directly intended for distribution amongst those who have the status of poor or low-income person as well as to those who stay in shelters or receive the services of day care centres, day centres, crisis centres, or home care. After their purchase, the masks will be delivered to the municipalities, which will determine the procedure for their distribution.
Until then, municipalities and their social services have established procedures for issuing free masks to their residents. In most cases, these masks will be disposable.
Persons who have returned to Latvia from so-called “red” countries (list of countries) must observe a 10-day self-isolation.
In turn, contact persons may terminate home quarantine if they test negative on the 10th day of their quarantine period.
For additional safety, medical staff, social care, and social rehabilitation staff; educational staff; and kindergarten staff who are in close daily contact with their respective patients, clients, or children will only be allowed to observe the shorter, ten-day self-isolation period after leaving a so-called red country if they test negative for Covid-19 on the eighth day after their return. If the worker does not get tested, he/she must observe the full 14-day self-isolation.
It is allowed to enter Latvia, provided that the guidelines developed by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) are being followed. When arriving from countries with a 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases that is higher than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants, self-isolation must be observed for 10 days.
10-day self-isolation must be observed when entering Latvia from the countries listed in the “National COVID-19 morbidity rates” section of the SPKC website.
If a person is arriving from a “safe” country by transiting through an “unsafe country”, the person must observe self-isolation; in order to avoid self-isolation, a different return route must be chosen.
When arriving from countries with a 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases that is higher than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants, self-isolation must be observed for 10 days. 10-day self-isolation must be observed when entering Latvia from the countries listed in the “National COVID-19 morbidity rates” section of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) website.
From 15 January, passengers who intend to use international passenger transport services in order to arrive in Latvia by plane, bus or train will have to take a Covid-19 test 72 hours before their departure. Until 25 January, a negative Covid-19 test result of any kind may be presented upon arriving in Latvia. On 25 January and thereafter, only a negative result of a molecular PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test (done with nasal and throat swabs) will be accepted.
The carrier's services will only be available to passengers who will have tested negative. This requirement also applies to those who intend to arrive in Latvia by private vehicle. The result of the test will have to be indicated in the covidpass.lv questionnaire, which may be checked by the Latvian Border Guard and police representatives.
There are several exceptions when getting tested before entering Latvia is not required:
- Children under 11 years of age
- Employees and crew members of carriers; seafarers travelling to or from their duty station; transit passengers not leaving the controlled area of the aerodrome; members of the diplomatic corps
- Getting tested is not required for border residents who cross the border on a daily basis for work, education, or similar needs and can provide proof of employment or education
After arriving from a country with a high incidence of Covid-19, a ten-day self-isolation is compulsory. Separate categories of persons – for example, medical staff and employees of educational institutions – must go into a 14-day self-isolation, which can end already on the 10th day.
Failure to comply with self-isolation at the place of work and during working hours
Exceptions shall be acceptable to those foreign inhabitants from risk countries, whose:
- arrival in Latvia is required for fulfilment of the liabilities of Latvian merchants (these persons may not be subject to self-isolation during the time and at the place of performance of work duties);
- purpose of arrival in Latvia is participation in international sporting events.
Confirmation of a negative test result is the result of a Covid-19 test, a certificate of physician, a certificate of physician on the presence of antibodies, or other medical document that certifies that an individual is not infectious.
- Certificate of a negative test result must be presented to a carrier, such as an airline; otherwise the individual will be denied boarding. One must present the certificate primarily in printed form to the carrier but when it is not possible, then in electronic form.
- If an individual enters the country by road, but does not perform commercial transportation, a note on the test result must be in the filled-in covidpass.lv questionnaire. The State Border Guard or the State Police will check the existence of a negative test result.
- The test certificate must be in English, French, German, Russian, or in the case of the use of the carrier’s services, also in the language of the country wherefrom the individual travels to Latvia. If the test results are presented to the State Border Guard or the State Police upon entering Latvia from Estonia and Lithuania, the test results may also be presented in Lithuanian or Estonian.
Yes. You should notify the State Police of the termination of self-isolation and should mandatorily use a mouth and nose mask on the road (both in public transport and at the airport and elsewhere).
Notification on changes is possible:
- by informing the police officer, who shall contact the person to make sure that self-isolation is observed;
- by sending a written confirmation to the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
- by contacting the police station that serves the district, where the person is staying.
From 15 January subject to strict epidemiological security controls, international passenger traffic is allowed to and from the European Union (EU) Member States and within the European Economic Area and to and from Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The Ministry of Foreign urges everyone to refrain from travelling unless it is absolutely necessary. You can find more information on website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Self-isolation only applies to persons returning from countries that are on the list of “unsafe countries” on the day of the person’s arrival in Latvia (regardless of the time when the list is published).
Yes, but the medical institution should coordinate this with the Health Inspectorate. In Latvia, these persons will be able to continue the initiated therapy or receive health care services, the non-receipt of which could significantly affect the person's health status. Outside the treatment process, these persons must also observe 10 days of self-isolation.
From 19 December to 25 January, residents may also get tested for Covid-19 without a doctor's referral if they have symptoms of the disease (signs of an acute respiratory infection, fever, olfactory disturbances, loss of taste, etc.). Persons who have returned to Latvia from the United Kingdom or the Republic of South Africa can be tested also if they have no symptoms of the disease.
Book a visit to a Covid-19 testing site by phone:
- Phone for centralised Covid-19 testing - 8303
- Central Laboratory - 8330
- E. Gulbja Laboratory - 67801112
- MFD Laboratory - 66164606
- NMS Laboratory - 67144015
- State Scientific Institute "BIOR" - 28369560
- Opening hours of phone lines and testing sites are available on the National Health Service website.
- Book a visit to a Covid-19 testing site electronically:
- Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital website - https://www.aslimnica.lv/pieraksts.php
- E. Gulbja Laboratory website - https://www.egl.lv/autorizacija/?auth
- Central Laboratory website - https://pieraksts.laboratorija.lv/
- On the MFD Healthcare Group website: http://www.mfd.lv/lv/covid-19
- On the State Scientific Institute "BIOR" website: https://bior.lv/lv/form/covid
The list of medical institutions that provide outpatient health care services to Covid-19 patients and their contact persons is available on the website of the National Health Service website in the section “Procedures for Receiving Medical Services”. The list of institutions is subject to change, please follow the current information on the National Health Service website.
The symptoms of the disease manifest themselves in different ways in different people; however, the most common symptoms include high temperature (fever), fatigue, and dry cough. Other symptoms include shortness of breath (possible tightness in the chest), muscle pain, sore throat, neck pain, and in rare cases diarrhoea, nausea, and runny nose. These symptoms are usually mild and develop gradually. There are cases of people getting infected and not showing any signs of the disease.
If you experience these symptoms:
- immediately stop any physical contact with healthy people (quarantine);
- contact your GP for treatment and testing advice;
- if you have a very high temperature, a severe cough, and difficulty breathing, call 113 immediately.
The virus spreads through saliva and nasal secretions of an infected person:
- Through direct contact with an infected person
- With tiny drops arising from speaking, sneezing or coughing.
- By touching surfaces and articles contaminated with respiratory secreations.
Preventative measures for COVID-19 are similar to those which would be used in the case of other infections of the upper respiratory system. Engage in frequent hand-washing, especially after coming into proximity with people who are ill or with people in their circle of contacts. When coughing or sneezing, be sure to dispose of kleenex (facial tissues) after a single use, and then wash your hands. To avoid falling ill with COVID-19, carefully observe social-distancing: that means placing two metres in between yourself and the next person and to stay away from places where lots of people are congregating, and, as much as possible, to stay home and do your work at a distance (telework). Wear a mask!
People who have received a laboratory confirmation of the Covid-19 diagnosis and whose health condition permits them to receive treatment at home, must stay in strict self-isolation. This is defined by the physician and CDPC epidemiologists. During this time:
- until recovery the person may obtain a sick-leave certificate, they must be in daily communication with their general practitioner and other medical personnel and abide by their instructions.
- they may not leave their residence and must be available for communication and cooperation with their general practitioner and other medical personnel and must strictly abide by the instructions given;
- isolation can only be broken upon permission of the treating physician;
- until then no guests may be hosted, and all direct contact with others must be avoided, stores must not be visited;
- Covid-19 patients must purchase basic necessities and food by home delivery or with the help of friends and family. If needed, they may request support from the municipal social services, but avoiding direct contact with the social worker;
- A face mask must be worn, if there are other residents in the household;
- Any medication may only be taken upon approval from the treating physician;
- In case of deterioration of the condition, contact your general practitioner or call 113.
- Family members must adhere to instructions for contact persons.
- Failure to comply with established restrictions may carry a penalty and the police may verify compliance with restrictions.
The educational process in pre-school education institutions can be fully resumed, ensuring hand and surface disinfection and other epidemiological safety measures.
At religious venues:
- the opening hours must be within 6:00 to 20:00;
- everyone must wear a mask;
- at least 15 square metres of publically available space must be provided per visitor;
- no more than 20% of the total visitor capacity may be used at any single time.
Initially, the most effective action is to draw the attention of employees or security guards of the place in question to the need to comply with the requirements. If this fails, you should contact the management of the place in question. Compliance with the established restrictions is monitored by the State Police and if the situation cannot be resolved you must call the police at 110. If you happen to discern disinformation on COVID-19, warn and inform the people in your circle including in the digital environment. When the disinformation appears in social media, use the opportunities and options offered by a particular platform to report the incident to administrators. The State Police (Valsts policija) in Latvia monitor and control the spread of disinformation.