Acquisition or storage of fake Covid-19 certificate becomes a criminal offence in Latvia

On Thursday, 11 November, Latvia’s parliament passed in the final reading amendments to the Criminal Law, introducing criminal liability for the acquisition or storage of a fake Covid-19 vaccination, testing or recovery certificate.
As reported by Saeima’s press-service, authors of the amendments reference the widely reported information regarding several dozen criminal processes involving forgery and use of vaccination certificates, as well as bribery of medical workers and use of another person’s certificate.
Such behaviour puts at risk public health. Given the scale, it should be considered criminal, the annotation mentions.
The initial redaction of amendments were prepared by coalition deputies Andrejs Judins (JV), Juris Jurašs (JKP), Juris Pūce (AP), Raivis Dzintars (NA) and Anda Čakša (JV) in cooperation with Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns and the ministry.
It was decided to provide a penalty of deprivation of freedom for up to one year, community service or fine for such violations.
At the same time, deputies decided that it will be possible to relieve persons of criminal liability if they voluntarily report the act and assist with the investigation.
Vaccination is currently the only available and reliable way to prevent Covid-19 from spreading.
The new regulation will be applicable for situations if other diseases requiring vaccination appear and similar circumstances surface as a result, as noted by authors of amendments.