RIGA - The Crisis Management Council late last night decided to declare a state of emergency in the country for a three month period, Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) wrote in his Twitter account.
The decision must still be approved by the government.
After the meeting, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) explained to members of the press that the aim of declaring a state of emergency is to increase the coverage of vaccination much faster, achieving this with much stricter restrictions on the unvaccinated. Controls on safety measures will also be strengthened.
The Prime Minister said that Latvia is in a very difficult situation - there are too many unvaccinated people, which in turn greatly affects the health care system - the influx of Covid-19 patients in hospitals is growing rapidly, which limits hospitals' ability to provide full services.
"We have been fighting Covid-19 in the country for a year and a half, but this fight will not end until the coverage of vaccination in risk groups reaches 90 percent, but in society as a whole will exceed 75 percent. There is still a long way to go," the politician concluded.
A state of emergency was already declared in Latvia last year, when the pandemic started, moreover, when the situation worsened in the autumn and winter of last year, the state of emergency was extended. This is the third time that an emergency situation will be declared in Latvia due to the spread of Covid-19.
A state of emergency is a special legal instrument during which the Cabinet of Ministers has the right to restrict the rights and freedoms of state administration and local government institutions, physical person and legal entities, as well as to impose additional obligations on them in accordance with the procedures and to the extent prescribed by law.
The Cabinet of Ministers declares a state of emergency for a definite period of time, but not longer than three months. The Cabinet shall revoke the decision regarding the declaration of a state of emergency before the specified time if the threat to the state has been prevented or overcome. The Cabinet shall notify the Presidium of the Saeima of the decision on the lifting of the state of emergency. The Cabinet of Ministers also has the right, if necessary, to extend the declared state of emergency for a period not exceeding three months.