RIGA - Saeima on Friday passed in the final reading a bill allowing the Cabinet of Ministers to to extend a state of emergency an unspecified number of times.
The provision stipulating that the Cabinet of Ministers may only extend a state of emergency once, for a time period not exceeding three months, has been removed from the Law on Emergency Situation and State of Exception. The amended provision grants the government the authority to extend a state of emergency for a period of up to three months at a time.
The amendment was proposed by opposition lawmakers and endorsed by the government.
"The Emergency Situations Law currently stipulates that a state of emergency can be extended by three months, and I believe this is what we will have to do," Health Minister Ilze Vinkele said earlier this week, stressing that the government had the right to lift the state of emergency any time if the situation in the country improves.
The current state of emergency, which has been declared in Latvia to better contain the spread of Covid-19 disease, is to continue until April 14.