Vīrietis maskā dezifincē rokas

Today, 15 February, the Government supported a three-step plan proposed by the Ministry of Health (MoD) to gradually and responsibly reduce safety measures, considering the still difficult health care situation and the increasing spread of disease.

The first step of reduced restrictions will take effect on Wednesday, 16 February:

  • Children without additional requirements (test, vaccination, recovery certificate) will be able to participate in interest education, attend events and use services even without the presence of adults in “green” mode;
  • Quarantine measures have been lifted in kindergartens if contact with the Covid-19 infected person has been outside the household and there are no symptoms. This means, for example, that if there is a Covid-19-infected child in a nursery group, he or she starts isolation, while the other children can continue to attend the nursery without being quarantined. However, in cases where contact with an infected person is within the household, the child must be quarantined;
  • henceforth, points of sale will be able to operate without a limit on the working hours.

It is forecast that the prevalence of disease will reduce at the end of February, therefore the Ministry of Health is proposing more significant activities in reducing the safety measures from 1 March, implementing the second step of the plan:

General safety measures

  • Open currently closed industries (indoor entertainment events, gambling, nightclubs, attractions);
  • Lift the restrictions on working hours;
  • Increase the maximum number of visitors at organised events (from 500 to 3000 people), cancel the registration of visitors and the requirement to provide personalised seating (it will also be possible to organise events with standing places);
  • Increase the number of people at private events indoors to 50 people, and outdoors to 50 people (increasing the number of visitors at weddings, funerals, baptisms to 250 people);
  • Lift restrictions on the number of participants in amateur activities, sports, education;
  • Lift the requirement for certificates in retail, similarly to in Lithuania, maintaining the requirement to provide 15 m2 per visitor;
  • Lift the restriction on the number of people at tables in catering places;
  • Remote work is recommended, observing a 2 m distance, room ventilation, flow separation;
  • Non-essential entry from all countries with a Covid-19 certificate or a negative Covid-19 test without the requirement for self-isolation and the obligation to complete a Covidpass is allowed;
  • Requirement to use medical masks or FFP2 respirators indoors has been maintained (schools will be able to decide on lifting the mask usage requirements for pupils in grades 1-3).

Covid-19 certificates for services

  • Requirement of vaccination, recovery certificate is annulled:
    • outdoors;
    • in retail sales;
    • in churches, religious events.

At the same time, service providers remain free to opt to provide the service in an epidemiologically safe manner. This does not apply to services that are essential for human rights and public security, such as postal services, public transport services, financial services, which must be accessible to all.

  • Certificate requirement remains:
    • In public events (sports, cultural events, etc.);
    • In discos, nightclubs, attractions;
    • During sports and amateur activities;
    • In catering, such as cafes, restaurants;
    • In the provision of personalised services where masks or unvalved FFP2 respirators are not used;
  • The requirement for a booster vaccination certificate to receive services has been postponed from 15 February to 1 April.

Covid-19 certificates for work

  • Certificate requirement remains:
    • For teachers and childcare workers;
    • In social care, for health care workers;
    • For public sector employees who serve customers on a daily basis, in prisons;
    • For the provision of services (in which the client must present a certificate), if there is contact with the client;
  • It is the right of the employer to evaluate work during the performance of which there is an increased risk of infection (close contact with the service recipient, contact with a large number of people with unknown vaccination status, performance of work duties that are essential to ensure business continuity). For these employees, the employer will be entitled to impose an obligation to work with a vaccination or recovery certificate only.

As the spread of disease continues to decline, starting from 1 April, it is planned to move to the implementation of the third step of the plan, lifting all safety measures, maintaining recommendations for the use of medical masks, respirators, distance, ventilation of premises, etc.

Sintija Gulbe

Ministry of Health, Press Secretary

telephone: +371 67876106;

e-mail: sintija.gulbe@vm.gov.lv