Compulsory vaccination for select professions and other changes announced by Latvia’s government

On Tuesday, 28 September, Latvia’s government passed new regulations for Covid-19 containment. These new regulations will replace the existing epidemiological rules and regulations.
The new rules simplify epidemiological regulations to make them more comprehensible while also maintaining the requirement for compulsory vaccination for representatives of select professions. New rules also expand the number of services open only to owners of Covid-19 vaccination certificates or negative tests.
New regulations make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for workers of all levels of education institution,
as well as informal education and organizers of professional growth programmes, college and university students, as well as support staff and other staff that frequently interact with students.
Compulsory vaccination also extends to healthcare workers and pharmacists, as well as social care workers.
New vaccination requirements will come to force on 15 November.
Unlike before, residents will have to cover the costs of Covid-19 tests in the transition period.
Rules also mention that polyclinics, hospitals and other healthcare institutions will be allowed to administer Covid-19 tests.
At the same time, new regulations state that all indoor services, aside from first necessity services (postal services and healthcare services) will need to be provided only in a safe or partially safe environment, which requires valid Covid-19 certificates or negative Covid-19 test result.
At the same time, amendments provide no changes for commerce – all commercial services are still permitted to be provided in unsafe environment.
At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Healthcare Daniels Pavļuts said restrictions are required for the commercial sector, adding that it is planned to discuss this topic with the Ministry of Economy soon.
Families with children will be able to receive safe environment services if they comply with mask-wearing and safe distance requirement.
Private gatherings are not affected by new rules – residents are still permitted to gather in groups of up to 20 people indoors (unsafe environment) and up to 50 people outdoors.
Employers are permitted to make vaccination for employees compulsory if employees work in close contact with customers and other employees and if vaccination is required to ensure uninterrupted operations for the company.
New rules will come to force on 11 October 2021.