There are no plans to extend the state of emergency declared in Latvia because of the spread of COVID-19 past 9 June. Nevertheless, even after this date certain restrictions may remain in force, said Latvia’s Prime Minister KrisjanisKariņs in an interview to Media.
He said that when considering extension of restrictions the government will try to coordinate with other Baltic States, considering that citizens are allowed to move freely between them. However, the most important factor the government will consider when deciding on extending or cancelling restrictions will be recommendations from Latvia’s epidemiologists.
When asked if there are any concerns of other Baltic States introducing different restrictions that could impact the competitiveness of Latvian businessmen, Kariņš said this will be considered, but at the same time it is necessary to think about public health and safety to find the best middle ground.
The politician admits leaders of all European countries are looking for the best way to reopen borders and allow 500 million people to freely travel, which would greatly with economic development.
The restrictions will remain in Latvia after the end of the state of emergency,Kariņs mentioned that primarily this is the requirement to maintain social distance. “If we maintain 2 m distance from each other, the possibility of the infection passing to another person is reduced significantly. In any case, we will continue washing hands and maintaining social distance” said the prime minister.
When asked to clarity what he meant when he said the requirement to comply with safety requirements will be added to the new law, Kariņs said efforts are put into developing a new legislation. “A new law is being developed and will be reviewed it in the government on 28 May and it will be sent to the Saeima for review” the prime minister said.
On Tuesday, 26 May, Justice Minister Janis Bordansin an interview said that during development of this regulation the ministry surveyed the visions of other ministries on what would be necessary to help industry representatives recover as quickly as possible without creating health and safety risks.
“We have prepared and have received all proposals and requests from other ministries on what will be necessary after this time [end of state of emergency], such as protection from the infection, how schools should function, how courts and state institutions should function, and all this will be outlined in legislation,” explained the minister.
He said re legislation that will come to force at the end of the state of emergency will govern, for example, how institutions should work remotely when possible to keep residents safe and to avoid overloading the administrative apparatus.
Once the state of emergency is over, “restrictions will remain in place for as long as healthcare specialists recommend it”said Bordāns.