RIGA - The government imposed Covid-19 restrictions will remain in force until January 25, State Chancellery Director Janis Citskovskis said last night after a government and Crisis Management Council meeting.
He said the government last night heard a report from experts on the epidemiological situation. According to Citskovskis, the situation remains serious and the number of patients hospitalized is increasing.
Based on this, the government has agreed in principle to extend the restrictions set in the country until January 25, but specific decisions will be made at the government meeting on Thursday, January 7.
Citskovskis added that it was mainly a question of extending the restrictions already in force on the provision of services and retail, as well as education. However, an extension of the curfew is not currently being discussed.
Citskovskis pointed out that by Thursday, experts will develop concrete proposals regarding retail outlets, the range of goods that can be available for purchase and other details.
Citskovskis also acknowledged that the safety measures imposed in the country have a negative impact on the economy, so the government heard a report prepared by the Ministry of Economics on the continuation of support measures for entrepreneurs. Specific decisions on support measures are also expected on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Minister of Economics Janis Vitenbergs (KPV LV) pointed out that in case the government decides on Thursday to extend the restrictions, appropriate support measures will have to be introduced in the country.
According to the Minister, downtime benefits, wage subsidies and working capital funding should continue to be paid. At the same time, Vitenbergs will encourage the expansion of the range of recipients, anticipating that companies that will have a drop in turnover this year compared to last year could apply for support.
Vitenbergs also informed that it is planned to introduce a new support instrument - support to cover rent, which could be applied for by retail companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis and service providers, such as hairdressers and cafes.
A state of emergency has been declared from November 9 and a number of restrictions have been set to limit the spread of Covid-19. The state of emergency remain in force until February 7.