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An emergency situation has been declared in Latvia from October 11 this year to January 11 next year in order to stop the rapid increase in morbidity

Covid-19 control measures

Last update 14.10.2021

This is a compilation of the most important information on safety measures 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. Currently a decision has been made that the restrictions will apply from 11 October 2021 to 11 January 2022.

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 person:
- observes general epidemiological safety requirements and security protocols or recommendations;
- reduces one’s contacts, also requests others to follow safety protocols, maintains distance and avoids gatherings, wears face masks properly, ventilates rooms, disinfects hands and ensures the availability of disinfectants;
- observes isolation, home quarantine and self-isolation provisions;
- prevents the risk of infection to others. 
  Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
Work - On-site work with the order of the employer to ensure the continuity of work if it cannot be performed remotely.
- In person (in places where there is more than one person) everyone wears face masks properly. 
- General safety measures are implemented on-site.

In the private sector:
- The employer evaluates the responsibilities, specifics and circumstances of each employee's work, determining the risk of infection and the spread of infection; 
- Persons who, according to the assessment, are not exposed to the risk of infection and do not cause it to others may perform work tasks without a valid vaccination, recovery or testing certificate;
- If, according to the assessment, the work duties must be performed on-site, where there is a risk of infection or infecting others, the employer shall inform the employee about the condition to perform the work duties in person with a vaccination or recovery certificate; 
- The employee begins vaccination within 10 days after the evaluation of the employer and completes it no later than 7 days after the shortest term specified in the instructions for use of the particular vaccine (for a vaccine with 2 doses);
- During the vaccination process when the vaccine has still not reached its effect, the employee is obliged to perform regular Covid-19 tests from 13 October 2021:
      - Negative results of antigen tests (not older than 72 hours) are valid until 19 October 2021; 
      - From 20 October 2021, only laboratory-confirmed negative test results confirmed by a certificate shall be valid; 
- If the employee has not started or completed the vaccination within the specified term (no later than 15 November 2021), the employer shall suspend the employee from the performance of work duties.

In state, municipal institutions and state capital companies:
- All employees must be vaccinated by 15 November 2021, regardless of how the employees perform their duties - remotely or in person.

For everyone:
- In person (in places where there is more than one person) everyone wears face masks properly;
- Implements general safety measures.

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 nearest hospital.
- Acute cases and treatment of Covid-19 cases are a priority in hospitals.
- Planned health care services in hospitals are limited.
- 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.
Education
Kindergartens - Kindergartens operate as usual, strictly subject to epidemiological safety requirements.
- 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 hand hygiene.
- Employees wear face masks properly and implement general safety measures at all times.
Primary and secondary education - The study process takes place in person, in strict compliance with general safety measures.
- 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. From the age of 12, we also encourage children to get vaccinated.
- Pupils and staff use face masks properly during their stay in school. 
- Non-overlapping of flows of different classes and groups is ensured.
  Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
Colleges and universities - The studies take place in person, in strict compliance with general safety requirements.
- Vaccination/recovery certificates of the students are checked.
- Students and staff use face masks properly during their stay in school.
- Non-overlapping of flows of different courses and groups is ensured.
 
- The study process is organised remotely.
Sport
Training - Vaccination/recovery certificates of the participants are checked.
- Not less than 15 m2 available training space is provided per visitor, 2 m distance.
- Up to 20 participants in a group both indoors and outdoors.
- Training group flows do not overlap.
- Occupancy in changing rooms does not exceed 25%.
- Individually outdoors.
Trade
  Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
Stores, incl. in the shopping centres, outdoor sales points, distance sales - Indoors, checking the vaccination/recovery certificate, ensuring 15 m2 per visitor and proper use of the face mask.
- The number of visitors at the point of sale is regulated by the number of shopping carts, trolleys, bags, etc.
- Ventilation of the premises, availability of disinfectants, observance of other safety measures is ensured.
- Everyone should wear face masks properly, also in outdoor points of sale.
- The person responsible for implementing epidemiological safety measures is identified at the point of sale.
- 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; 
     - hygiene goods stores (with hygiene items being 70% of the assortment);
     - telecommunications goods and service providers;
     - fuel stations.
- 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 flow of visitors must be completely separated from the flow of vaccinated/recovered visitors. 
- Issue of remotely purchased goods is organised in a separate flow from vaccinated/recovered customers or outdoors. 
- Everyone should wear face masks properly in outdoor sales.
- The person responsible for implementing epidemiological safety measures is identified at the point of sale.
Shopping centres

- The person responsible for implementing epidemiological safety measures is identified. 
- The maximum number of visitors is not exceeded - it is determined as not larger than the total number of visitors allowed in individual service provision places and points of sales.
- Information on the total maximum number of visitors and the contact details of the person responsible for epidemiological safety must be placed.
- Electronic shopping flow monitoring equipment must be installed in shopping centres with a total sales area of more than 7 000 m2
- Flow of vaccinated/recovered visitors must be separated from non-vaccinated/non-recovered visitors. 

On weekends and public holidays in shopping centres (with floor area exceeding 1500 m2 and with more than five points of sale) only work: 
     - grocery stores (with foodstuff being 70% of the assortment);
     - pharmacies (including veterinary);
     - opticians;
     - pet food stores;
     - press outlets; 
     - hygiene goods stores (with hygiene items being 70% of the assortment);
     - telecommunications goods and service providers;
     - providers of essential economic services (e.g. bank branches, dry cleaners, key services, etc.);
     - the service provision places and points of sale having a separate entrance from the outside and ensuring the separation of the flow of visitors from the common areas of the shopping centre.

Services
General principles - The service provider checks the certificate of the vaccinated/recovered person.
- At least 15 m2 of the public space must be provided per one visitor.
- Everyone uses a face mask properly, observes other safety requirements.
- Outside a distance of at least 2 m outdoors between individuals or households must be provided.
- In-person services may be provided indoors by a vaccinated/recovered person to an unvaccinated/non-recovered customer individually or to one household.
- At least 15 m2 of the public space must be provided per one visitor.
- Everyone uses face masks properly, observes other safety requirements. 
Entertainment, attractions - Indoors, it is forbidden to provide economic services related to entertainment, attractions, such as water parks, entertainment and amusement centres, trampoline parks.
Catering

- Vaccination/recovery certificate of the visitors is checked both indoors and outdoors.
- Public catering places can be open from 6.00 to 21.00.
- Delivery of food for take away is without a time limit.
- Indoors and outdoors there are no more than 4 people at one table.
- Indoors and outdoors, a distance of at least 3 metres must be provided between the tables, if there is no partition wall between them.
- Employees and visitors wear face masks properly, except for when visitors are sitting at a table.
- When serving customers with children, the flows must be separated in time or space: the space must be enclosed (for example, with a wall or tape and a distance of 2 metres) and the two visitor flows do not overlap.

- Meals for takeaway can be purchased.
- At least 15 m2 per person must be provided indoors at the place of receiving the service.
- All persons must maintain distance and wear face masks properly.
 
Public transport - From 25 October 2021, public transport service providers receiving a grant from municipal funds may not grant fare reductions to adults who do not have a vaccination/recovery certificate.
- Passengers and the driver must wear a face mask properly throughout the journey.
- The capacity of the public transport is 80% (85% if is required to pick up passengers at stops outside the regional importance routes).
- Observe general safety provisions and regularly ventilate the vehicle.
Culture
  Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
Cultural sites - Vaccination/recovery certificate of the visitors is checked.
- Everyone wears face masks properly.
- Start working no earlier than 6.00 and close no later than 21.00, except for performances and other events at cultural venues, which may end by no later than 23.00.
- Not less than 15 m2 is provided for the visitor.
- Implements general safety measures.
- Library services (for book exchange and working at the computer by prior arrangement) and individual amateur art classes can be provided in person by a vaccinated/recovered person to one non-vaccinated/non-recovered customer or household.
- Observes safety requirements for wearing a face mask properly and implements other general safety measures.
Cultural events

- Transitional provisions until 18 October apply for events announced before 8 October 2021.

During the transitional period
 - Vaccination/recovery certificate of the visitors is checked;
 - Visitors with children are located in a separate sector where distance provisions must be observed;
- Children under 12 do not need to present the certificate;
- Children from the age of 12 must present a certificate of vaccination, recovery or testing or a laboratory certificate of a negative screening test performed within the last 72 hours;
- For events without fixed seating, visitors properly use FFP2 respirators;
 - For events with fixed seating, visitors properly use face masks.

For events announced after 8 October:
 - Ticket personalisation;
 - Vaccination/recovery certificate of the visitors is checked;
 - Children under 12 do not need to present the certificate;
 - Children from the age of 12 must present a certificate of vaccination, recovery or testing, or a laboratory certificate of a negative screening test performed within the last 72 hours;
 - Personalised seating;
 - Standing-places - at least 3 m2 for each visitor;
 - Maximum number of visitors 1000;
 - If the number of visitors exceeds 500, division into sectors, up to 300 visitors each;
 - A separate sector for parents with children;
 - Seating for 2 people or one household (up to 4 people); 
 - 2 seats’ distance;
 - Seats in rows are arranged alternately - in the form of a chessboard;
 - Visitors properly use face masks in the seats;
 - In standing-places visitors properly use FFP2 respirators;
 - Crowding is not allowed, a distance of 2 m must be observed;
 - General safety measures are implemented.

- Can't attend.
Operation of amateur art groups - Vaccination/recovery certificates of the participants are checked.
- Not less than 15 m2 available rehearsal space is provided per visitor, 2 m distance (except during dance classes).
- Up to 20 participants in a group both indoors and outdoors.
- Training group flows do not overlap.
- Occupancy in changing rooms does not exceed 25%.
- Individually, if the instructor has a vaccination/recovery certificate.
- General safety measures are implemented.
Gatherings
Services, religious activities - Operation shall start no earlier than 6.00 and end no later than 21.00.
- Everyone uses face masks properly.
- At least 15 m2 per person.
- Implements general safety measures.
Border crossing
  Persons with vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate* Persons without vaccination and/or Covid-19 recovery certificate
Entering Latvia - 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.
- 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.
 
Transit through Latvia A person will have to transit through the territory of the Republic of Latvia within 12 hours of submitting the arrival confirmation form on the covidpass.lv website, except for:
- passengers in international traffic who have to transit through the territory of the country within 48 hours;
- employees of transport service providers and crew members of cargo or technical transport who have to transit the state territory within 72 hours;
- ship's crew members and seamen going to or from their work on the ship;
- flight crew members;
- aircraft passengers who cross the territory of the Republic of Latvia in transit without leaving the airport terminals and may present confirmation of a further flight within the next 24 hours.

 

* 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.