Saeima approves decision on imposing additional precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19
On Monday, 16 March, the Saeima held an extraordinary sitting and adopted the decision by the Cabinet of Ministers to extend the precautionary measures taken during the emergency situation to limit the spread of COVID-19.
As set out in the amendments to the decision by the Cabinet of Ministers on declaring state of emergency, from 16 March onwards, pre-school educational establishments and institutions providing childcare will have to ensure the work of ‘on-duty’ groups that will look after the children whose parents are unable to do so. Each week, parents will have to submit a written statement to the pre-school educational establishment informing that for the last 14 days the child and family have not travelled abroad and have not been in contact with COVID-19 infected persons or contact persons. The statement should also include information that parents do not have any other possibility of providing childcare.
On-site studies are suspended in all educational establishments and the training process will continue to take place remotely. The decision also stipulates that centralized examination is to be suspended, while foreign language exams are postponed to the period from 12 May and 15 May 2020.
According to the decision, all events relating to public holidays, commemorations, entertainment, culture, sports and recreational activities, including in nightclubs and discotheques, as well as meetings, demonstrations, pickets and religious activities involving assembly are prohibited irrespective of the number of participants.
In addition, unorganised gatherings in cultural, entertainment, recreation, sports and religious venues for more than 50 people at the same time will also be limited. Pursuant to the decision, the opening hours of cultural, entertainment, sports and other recreational areas will be no longer than until 23:00.
The decision sets out that international passenger transport through airports, ports, by bus and rail transport will be cancelled as of 17 March with the exception of passenger transport by State aircraft and military transport.
In addition, the 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 local border traffic will be banned from 17 March 2020. This prohibition will not apply to the carriage of goods.
Nationals of the Republic of Latvia and foreign nationals whose permanent place of residence is in the Republic of Latvia are permitted to return to Latvia. Similarly, foreign nationals are allowed to leave Latvia.
In case of non-compliance with the measures set out in the decree, appropriate administrative or criminal liability will be imposed, as stipulated in the decision.
The Cabinet decrees on the emergency situation are in force since their adoption on 13 and 14 March respectively, and the Saeima decides on supporting the decision.