RIGA - The validity of Covid-19 certificates should be extended from February 15 to March 1, President Egils Levits said after a meeting with Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) today.
Speaking about the current infection rates in the country, the President admitted that the peak of infections could be reached this week and next week. From March 1, in the opinion of the President, there must be serious easing of all restrictions. Levits pointed out that the government will still agree on the details, but in the opinion of the president, there must be a serious ease of restrictions in any case.
The President also stated that from March 1, efforts should be made to synchronize the restrictions or lifting of restrictions with Estonia and Lithuania. According to Levits, the Ministries of Health will need to talk to each other to achieve synchronous regulation.
In the opinion of the President, it is also important that on February 15, the validity of Covid-19 certificates will expire for approximately 40,000 residents.
"If we know that there will be major easing of restrictions on March 1, I think the validity of certificates should be extended until 1 March," said Levits.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the Covid-19 strategy adopted in the country is correct and will continue to be so. This includes vaccination, wearing a respirator or medical mask, and frequent testing. Karins pointed out that the combined strategy also envisages frequent testing, including self-tests.
"Everyone should take individual responsibility. This is the way we should move forward, that is, moving beyond restrictions and [more] individual responsibility and protection. Persons who have received their booster shot is 40 times less likely to die from the coronavirus than a a non-vaccinated person," said Karins.
He called on residents to take the opportunity to receive a booster shot, as well as those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so, because unfortunately the pandemic is not over and Covid-19 has not become less dangerous for people who are not protected by the vaccine.
Karins noted that on Tuesday, February 15, the government plans to adopt a final strategy on how the public will be able to "exit" the current restrictions. The Minister of Health Daniels Pavluts (For Development) has also been instructed to coordinate Latvia's position with his Lithuanian and Estonian colleagues as much as possible.
As the Prime Minister explained, the Baltic States form a single economic space, so it is reasonable that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have similar requirements. It is now clear that the Covid-19 certificate will no longer be required in many places. He assumed that the Covid-19 certificate would no longer be required at places where masks are worn.