Partial shopping lockdown for non-vaccinated people and police control in the planned state of emergency in Latvia

On the night to Friday, 8 October, the Crisis Management Council in Latvia made the decision to declare a state of emergency in the country, as confirmed on Twitter by Minister of Transport Tālis Linkaits.
The council’s agreement, however, now needs to be approved by the government.
A state of emergency was declared last year, when the pandemic was at its beginning. After the situation deteriorated in autumn and winter, the state of emergency was declared again. This is the third time when Latvia is forced to declare a state of emergency due to Covid-19.
Persons who are not vaccinated for Covid-19 or have not recovered from a previous infection will be permitted to shop only in stores that sell first necessity goods from now on.
This means they will not be able to shop in supermarkets, for example, as decided by the Crisis Management Council.
After the meeting of the council, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said it is also planned to shorten the open hours of stores.
Kariņš said restrictions will extend to vaccinated people. Fr example, events organized in the «green» or safe zone will have to meet additional epidemiological safety requirements. This means it will be necessary to wear masks, maintain a safe distance from other people. It is also planned to introduce specific restrictions for participants of certain events.
At the same time, the council also decided to urge all who are able – both in the public and private sector – to work remotely whenever possible.
For these decisions to come into force, they will need to be approved by the government at the extraordinary meeting of the government on Friday, 8 October.
During the state of emergency, control over compliance with Covid-19 restrictions will be performed by different controlling institutions, as journalists were told by the PM.
Kariņš did not deny that the Crisis Management Council had in-depth discussions about controlling measures after the introduction of new restrictions. The meeting of the government was attended by State Police Chief Armands Ruks, who confirmed that controlling measures will be executed using flash actions and other methods.
During the state of emergency the government will mobilize municipal police and other institutions, as well as institutions under the Ministry of Health.
The PM also said controlling measures «are very weighed» and have to be followed up with immediate penalties for the people who violate rules.
Already Latvian State Police and municipal police perform controlling measures, including wide inspections of public places. The Health Inspectorate is also involved in controlling measures.
Children will continue studying normally while wearing protective masks. However, hobby groups will be severely limited, said Minister of Education and Science Anita Muižniece at a press-conference.
A state of emergency is a special legislative regime during which the Cabinet of Ministers has the authority to limit the rights and freedoms of state and municipal institutions, private and legal persons and impose specific duties for them.
A state of emergency is declared by the Cabinet of Ministers for a specific period of time, but no longer than three months. The state of emergency can be lifted before the end of the term if the threat to the state is prevented or overcome.