On 6 November, in view of the increasing risks of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Cabinet agreed to declare a state of emergency in Latvia from 9 November to 6 December 2020, and this involves the institution of strong health safety measures. At the same time, respect for fundamental rights of residents and their access to services to ensure basic needs are guaranteed.
During the time in question, the following restrictions shall apply to public indoor and outdoor places:
- physical on-site public events (for example, theatre performances and concerts) have been cancelled and will not be permitted. No more than 10 people at a time can gather at private events. Up to 50 people, however, are allowed to gather outdoors for meetings and processions;
- entertainment (including for example, discos) are prohibited, as well gaming halls and bars, water parks and entertainment centres; saunas and spas will remain closed during the state of emergency, and no public sports events can occur;
- public catering establishments including restaurants and cafes may serve food only as takeaway except at the Riga International Airport;
- retail markets and outlets must provide a minimum of 10 square metres per customer and face masks must be worn. Face coverings should also be worn in open market areas and when shopping at street stalls;
- opening hours are shortened from 6.00 to 20.00 for cultural venues (where only individual visits are permitted) as well as for exhibitions and churches;
- nature trails will be open for recreation on an individual basis; museums, exhibitions, libraries and other cultural venues can remain open but events may not be organised there.
For further information on restrictions put in place during the state of emergency, see the website of the Cabinet: https://www.mk.gov.lv/en, the COVID-19 information site: https://covid19.gov.lv/en, the Ministry of health website: https://www.vm.gov.lv/en/ministry/novel_coronavirus_covid19_advice_for_the_public1/ and the website of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC): https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/if-returning-toentering-latvia.