Interior minister proposes that foreigners arriving in Latvia must cover mouth and nose while in public places

  • 2020-05-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV) is planning to propose that absolutely all foreigners arriving in Latvia must cover mouth and nose while in any public indoor or outdoor place, as the minister's advisor Beata Jonite told LETA.

The minister's proposal would apply to absolutely all foreigners who travel to Latvia, including residents of Lithuania and Estonia, as well as truck drivers traveling through Latvia. The minister's proposal stipulates that foreigners must cover their mouths and noses in all indoor and outdoor places for 14 days or until leaving Latvia.

The minister's proposal envisages that foreigners will not have to purchase and wear medical masks, instead they will have to cover their mouths and noses with a scarf, shawl or a homemade face mask.

Girgens discussed the initiative with his Baltic colleagues during a video conference today, and the Lithuanian and Estonian ministers had no objections.

Girgens believes that his proposal will help better protect residents of Latvia and also the other Baltic countries from the threat of Covid-19 infection. Although the Baltic prime ministers previously agreed on opening of internal borders and free movement of people in the Baltic countries from May 15, Girgens believes that foreigners without personal protective equipment may affect the epidemiological situation.

During the video conference today, the ministers also discussed using mobile operators' services to notify the arriving foreigners about the restrictions they have to observe in Latvia during the state of emergency.