RIGA - At this Thursday's Cabinet meeting ministers will not yet decide on easing Covid-19 restrictions after the end of the state of emergency, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said today in an interview to Latvian Radio.
The prime minister said that tomorrow, May 28, the government will decide on a new pandemic-related bill that will come into effect after June 9 when the state of emergency in Latvia is expected to end. Taking into consideration epidemiologists' recommendations, Saeima will have to decide on the duration of this law. The prime minister believes that it should remain in effect for a year.
The bill will include a provision authorizing the Cabinet of Ministers to take decisions concerning safety measures that might be necessary in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. "In the event of a new outbreak somewhere in Europe or Latvia, we will be able to respond swiftly without declaring a new state of emergency. For instance, by suspending travel to certain destinations," the prime minister said.
Asked if the government might decide Thursday on a more extensive easing of Covid-19 restrictions after June 9, Karins said that it is necessary to wait until June 9 because all decisions will be taken based on epidemiologists' advice.
The premier said he understands entrepreneurs' wish to plan their business operations in advance but stressed the need to balance economic and public health interests. "When the Health Ministry feels sure about taking the next step and if the infection rate keeps dropping, more extensive gatherings of people might be allowed," the prime minister said.
As reported, a state of emergency over the Covid-19 pandemic has been declared in Latvia from March 13 to June 9.