Minister: tighter safety restrictions will be tailored to avoid impacting the economy too much

Tighter safety restrictions to halt the rapid spread of Covid-19 will be adopted in a way to avoid impacting the economy too much and maintaining schools open for as long as possible, said Latvian Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts in an interview to TV3 programme 900 seconds on 5 October.
The minister did not comment which restrictions may adopted. He said experts of the Crisis Management Council will discuss this on 5 October. The minister added, however, that when it comes to schools, it may be possible for them to go on a break sooner to protect students and teachers.
«After the council meeting there could be political consultations organized to see which steps could be taken to move forward and limit the rapid spread of the virus. I don’t think there will be problems with decision-making this time, because the government coalition has indicated the understanding of the situation has changed rapidly now that the speed of the spread of the virus is more rapid than it was last winter,» said the minister.
Pavļuts also agreed that it was the fear of public reaction that has led to Covid-19 spreading further. This is why no decisions regarding tighter restrictions were made by politicians,
even though the Ministry of Health and experts had previously voiced concerns about the possible rapid spread of the disease. However, concerns fell on deaf ears.
«It is important to reach an agreement on tighter restrictions to halt the spread of the infection and protect hospitals from an impending catastrophe, because in two weeks we may see an infection level we had observed last winter,» said the minister.
Due to the rapid and uncontrolled spread of Covid-19, the ruling coalition in Latvia may declare a new state of emergency in the country, as journalists were told by Pavļuts after a meeting of the coalition council.
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The government may decide on new restrictions this week.
Pavļuts previously said support was voiced for tighter Covid-19 restrictions at the Monday meeting of the coalition. When asked which preventive measures received support, Pavļuts said
the government may agree on declaration of a state of emergency, restriction of face-to-face services to the green regime only (for vaccinated or recovered residents).
Additionally, the Cabinet of Ministers may also introduce much tighter control requirements for existing and additional security measures in different sectors – both commerce and elsewhere. He promised more information will be reported after the 5 October meeting of the Crisis Management Council.