Latvia looks to easing restrictions next month

With the spread of coronavirus infections in Latvia brought under control, the government plans to lift the nationwide state of emergency in June, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said in a televised interview.

The prime minister said that next week his cabinet will hear the latest information on the epidemiological situation in the country before deciding whether the state of emergency should be called off or extended.

However, even when the state of emergency ends, the government will retain some of the extra powers it has been granted during the state of emergency to enable a swift response should the situation start deteriorating again.

“Our goal is to end the state of emergency after June 9,” Karins said, while stressing that increased hygiene and distancing requirements will remain in place to prevent new outbreaks.

Latvia entered the state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, ordering schools to switch to distance learning and employees to work from home where possible, among other measures to deal with the public health crisis.

On May 7, the state of emergency was extended until June 9, but some of the virus restrictions have been gradually eased since then.