RIGA - Universally applied restrictions on summer employment of children are unnecessary because it is possible to ensure that distancing requirements are met, said Latvian President Egils Levits during his meeting with local government leaders.
Levits expressed his satisfaction with the way municipalities had taken care of their people’s needs during the crisis and handled various social assistance issues, including support for disadvantaged and families, in a call with Chair of the Bauska Regional Council Arnolds Jatnieks, Chair of Kekava Regional Council Viktorija Baire and Chair of Krustpils Regional Council Karlis Paberzs.
One of the key topics discussed by participants was the need for faster and more efficient communication between various government departments to enable local governments take emergency response decisions and manage crisis communication with their local communities.
Virtual meeting also focused on suspension of children’s summer holiday employment programs due to crisis caused by Covid-19 outbreak, and free school meals. President Levits said he agrees with the view that in many cases, especially in the case of regions, universally applied restrictions on summer employment of children are unnecessary because it is possible to ensure that distancing requirements are met. Local governments should also be given greater flexibility to decide how to provide free school meals – either as food parcels or vouchers.
Municipal leaders also underlined that government should support implementation of local-significance investment projects, for example, construction of kindergartens, in settlements outside major regional centers.