On the Declaration of Emergency Situation

Attention sign

In the light of the statement by the World Health Organization of 11 March 2020 that COVID-19 has been confirmed as pandemic and based on Section 4, Paragraph one, Sub-clause ‘e’ of the Civil Protection and Disaster Management Law, and Section 4, Section 5, Paragraph one, Section 6, Paragraph one, Clause one and Paragraph two, Section 7, Paragraph one and Section 8 of the Law on Emergency Situation and State of Exception and Section 3, Paragraph two of the Epidemiological Safety Law, in order to determine the epidemiological safety and other measures:

1. Cabinet Order No. 103 On the Declaration of Emergency Situation of 12 March 2020 (Official Journal ‘Latvijas Vēstnesis’, 2020, 51A, 52A, 52B, 54A, ) is amended as follows:

2. The Ministry of Health shall be appointed as a responsible authority for coordinating the activities during the emergency situation and Ministry of Health National Medical Response Commission shall be designated as body whose decisions on epidemiological safety measures are binding upon health care providers.’;

2.1 Based on latest analyses of epidemiological situation in the country, Minister for Health shall have the right to:

2.1 1 assess the epidemiological risks and agree with health sector experts to reduce the range of healthcare services delivered by healthcare providers (healthcare providers shall continue to deliver life-saving healthcare services and other services that are crucial for treatment continuity), including limiting the right of healthcare professionals to render their healthcare services at several healthcare providers at the same time;

2.1 2 completely prohibit pharmaceutical wholesalers from exporting medicines intended for Latvian market to third countries and dispatching medicines listed on the webpage of the State Agency of Medicines to European Economic Area countries.

4.3 on-site learning shall be suspended in all educational establishments and remote training shall be ensured. The State centralised examinations shall be suspended, ensuring the examination in foreign languages during the period from 12 May to 15 May 2020. Continuation of educational activities at the military education establishments shall be decided by Minister for Defence. Decision to suspend educational activities of military education establishments is adopted by the Defence Minister. Education institution of social correction ‘Naukšēni’ shall continue operating as usual. If children are ordered into special education and shall be committed to education institution of social correction after the declaring of state of emergency, enforcement of the order is postponed until lifting of the state of emergency;

4.3.1 delegate Minister for Education and Science:

4.3.1 1 to assess the specific impact of the emergency and decide to extend the school year if emergency has led to longer (at least a week long) disruption of learning process specified in applicable legal acts;

4.3.1 2 to decide on reduced professional internship requirements for study programmes available to post-secondary students;

4.3.1 3 to ensure that students with disabilities have access to state-funded disability assistant as previously regulated;’;

4.4 all kinds of educational activities involving direct contact outside an educational establishment, including delivery of all kinds of professional/vocational and informal training/education programmes/subjects in culture or sports (practice, competitions and rehearsals), including all indoor sports activities (inside closed venues), and all children’s camps shall be suspended;

4.5 all public gatherings of any size – festivals, remembrance events, entertainment, culture, sports, and recreation (including night clubs and discotheques), public meetings, marches and rallies (in accordance with definitions provided in the Law On Public Meetings, Marches, and Demonstrations) as well as religious activities and gatherings – shall be cancelled and prohibited regardless of the number of participants thereof. All fitness clubs and gyms shall be closed;

Voluntary gathering at particular venues, including culture, entertainment, sports, and religious venues, shall be restricted to no more than fifty persons at a time. The opening hours of culture, entertainment, sports, and recreational venues shall be from 8:00am (earliest) to 11:00pm (latest);

4.5 1 voluntary gathering at particular venues, including culture, entertainment, outdoor sports, and religious venues, shall be restricted to no more than fifty persons at a time. The opening hours of culture, entertainment, outdoor sports, and recreational venues shall be from 8:00am (earliest) to 11:00pm (latest);

4.6 travel agencies/operators and passenger transport companies shall cancel all leisure trips abroad;

4.7 business trips and posting of workers abroad shall be cancelled if possible;’;

4.10.1 enforcement of short-term prison sentences by penal institutions shall be postponed, while arrest and transportation to prison of persons sentenced to short-term imprisonment or whose fine, or community service has been replaced by the court with short-term imprisonment, shall be suspended;

4.10.2 Director of the Prison Administration, or any other official designated by the Director, shall be responsible for coordination of all emergencies that may occur in penal institutions;

4.10.3 transporting of prisoners under request of prosecution, including prison convoy to court hearings, shall be stopped and substituted with use of video conferencing in court hearings. Except cases when prisoner needs to be moved to National Prison Hospital at Olaine Prison and convoy to prison after sentencing, transporting of prisoners from one penal institution to another shall be stopped;

4.10.4 enforcement of administrative penalties – administrative detention – shall be postponed. Statute of limitation shall not be considered. Administrative detention, which has not been enforced due to this Order and before expiry of statute of limitations, shall not be enforced after lifting of the state of emergency;

4.10.5 repatriation and transfer of prisoners who have been sentenced or detained by another country to serve the balance of their sentence or detention in the Republic of Latvia shall be postponed;

4.12 persons shall take special epidemiological safety measures, including:

4.12.1 persons returning from abroad should:

4.12.1.1 go into self-isolation at home for 14 days. Persons in self-isolation should stay at home and keep away from workplace, social spaces, public places and other mass venues;

4.12.1.2 monitor their health for 14 days and measure body temperature twice a day (in the morning and at night);

4.12.1.3 in case of symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, high body temperature (fever), shortness of breath), immediately call 113 or 8303;

4.12.1.4 reduce the risk of infecting others by minimising direct contact with others (no guests, no private appointments, etc.) and avoiding public transport as much as possible;

4.12.1.5 choose one of the following options to get essential products and food:

4.12.1.5.1 home delivery – avoid any contact with deliveryman;

4.12.1.5.2 food and essential goods delivery by relatives – all items are left by the front door;

4.12.1.5.3 if there are no other options, use face mask and keep at least 2m distance between themselves and other shoppers and shop staff, choose the time when there are as few shoppers as possible and practice good hygiene (for example, handwashing, when coughing);

4.12.2 persons who have come into contact with a Covid-19 infected person according to definition of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) should:

4.12.2.1 go into 14-day self-isolation at home (home quarantine) and be accessible, keep contact and interact with general practitioner and other health professionals. Such persons should keep away from workplace, social spaces, public places and other mass venues;

4.12.2.2 monitor their health for 14 days and measure body temperature twice a day (in the morning and at night);

4.12.2.3 in case of symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, high body temperature (fever), shortness of breath), immediately call 113 or 8303;

4.12.2.4 reduce the risk of infecting others by minimising direct contact with others (no guests, no private appointments, no public transport, etc.);

4.12.2.5 choose one of the following options to get essential products and food:

4.12.2.5.1 home delivery – avoid any contact with deliveryman;

4.12.2.5.2 food and essential goods delivery by relatives – all items are left by the front door;

4.12.2.5.3 arrange delivery by local social service – avoid any direct contact with social worker;

4.12.2.5.4 if there are no other options, use face mask and keep at least 2m distance between themselves and other shoppers and shop staff, choose the time when there are as few shoppers as possible and practice good hygiene (for example, handwashing, when coughing);

4.12.3 persons who have tested positive, been diagnosed with Covid-19 and have been allowed to undergo home treatment:

4.12.3.1 stay in strict isolation: do not leave home and be accessible, keep contact and interact with general practitioner and other health professionals. Follow all instructions of general practitioner and other healthcare professionals. Wait for doctor’s permission before coming out of isolation;

4.12.3.2 reduce the risk of infecting others by minimising direct contact with others (no guests, no private appointments, etc.);

4.12.3.3 choose one of the following options to get essential products and food:

4.12.3.3.1 home delivery – avoid any contact with deliveryman;

4.12.3.3.2 food and essential goods delivery by relatives – all items are left by the front door;

4.12.3.3.3 arrange delivery by local social service – avoid any direct contact with social worker;

4.12.1 self-isolation (home quarantine) provisions of Article 4.12.1 do not apply to employees of transport and passenger transport companies, crews of passenger, cargo or test/maintenance flights/trips returning from work trip or posting if there are no symptoms of acute respiratory infection and has been no contact with persons infected with Covid-19;

4.12.2 State Police shall be designated the authority responsible for control of compliance with provisions of Article 4.12.1;

4.12.3 Health Inspectorate shall be designated the authority responsible for control of compliance with provisions of Article 4.12.2 and Article 4.12.3 herein;

4.13 staff of state and municipal in-patient health services, State Medical Emergency Service, employees and officials of administration and agencies of Ministry of Health, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, State Revenue Service, National Health Service, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be permitted to work over-time that exceeds the maximum over-time provided by the Labour Law and Paragraph 2 of Section 53.1 of the Medical Treatment Law but does not exceed 60 hours per week. Provisions of the Paragraph 4 of Section 136 of the Labour Law shall not apply to cases mentioned in this Article. Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall request funding to pay over-time of its staff from the State budget programme ‘Funding for unforeseen circumstances’;

4.13.1 funding to pay over-time of ranking officers of Ministry of Interior shall be provided from the State budget programme ‘Funding for unforeseen circumstances’ and paid once in four months according to actual emergency response operation over-time accumulated over this period. Ministry of Interior shall draft and through Minister of Interior submit to the Cabinet of Ministers a Draft Cabinet Order on allocation of funding from the State budget programme ‘Funding for unforeseen circumstances’ to Ministry of Interior (and its respective agencies);

4.13.2 staff/employees of municipal police and local social services, including social workers providing shelter, care and assistance, shall be permitted to work over-time that exceeds the maximum over-time provided by the Labour Law but does not exceed 60 hours per week together with the standard working hours;

4.13.3 municipal support provided in scope of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation 709 Cost calculation methodology and procedures for compensation of private pre-school tuition costs from municipal budget based on average price set by municipality of 8 December 2015 shall be exempted from provisions of Article 9 about reduction of compensation due to child’s absence because of health or other important reasons until the lifting of state of emergency;

4.14 state-owned enterprises, in-patient care providers, State Emergency Medical Service, National Health Service, Provision State Agency, State Police, State Fire and Rescue Service, State Border Guard, Ministry of Interior’s Information Centre, Prison Administration, State Probation Service, State Land Service, Migration and Citizenship Office of Ministry of Interior, State Chancellery, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, State Revenue Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Science, Court Administration, social services providing shelter, care and assistance and the Ministry of Defence shall be permitted not to apply the Law on Public Procurement for goods and services required to mitigate the outbreak of Covid-19, provide appropriate medical treatment and other necessary measures to counter virus, including resources required for distance learning. Ministries shall account for all additional procurement expenses related to such supplies and request them from the State budget programme “Funding for unforeseen circumstances’;

4.17 the movement of persons and vehicles through airport, port, railway and road border crossing points at the European Union’s external border, as well as at border crossing points intended for local border traffic, other than freight transport, shall be prohibited from 17 March 2020. The Minister for the Interior and the Minister for Foreign Affairs or Commander of State Border Guard may lift restrictions on the movement of certain persons and vehicles. This provision shall not apply to employees of transport and passenger transport companies, crews of passenger, cargo or test/maintenance flights/trips, passengers and crew members referred to in Article 4.16 herein, returning to Latvia or aboard their vessel if there are no symptoms of acute respiratory infection and has been no contact with persons infected with Covid-19;

4.18 nationals of the Republic of Latvia and foreigners whose permanent residence is the Republic of Latvia shall be authorized to cross the border of the Republic of Latvia through the border crossing points referred to in Article 4.17 of this Order once – only to travel to their place of permanent residence;

4.18.1 if a national of the Republic of Latvia has lost travel document, transport company can request the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to authorise the boarding of such person on a direct flight/trip to Latvia. Consular Department shall also notify the State Border Guard of person’s arrival to Latvia through border crossing points referred to in Article 4.17 herein;

4.18.2 nationals of the Republic of Latvia permanently residing outside the country shall be authorized to cross the border of the Republic of Latvia once – only to travel to their current country of residence;

4.18.3 nationals of the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Lithuania, and permanent residents of Estonia and Lithuania, shall be authorized to cross the border of the Republic of Latvia through the border crossing points referred to in Article 4.17 of this Order once – only to travel to their current country of residence;

4.19.1 prior to returning to the Republic of Latvia, all persons shall confirm in writing that they will comply with special precautionary measures referred to in Article 4.12.1 of this Order, including self-isolation. Statements signed by passengers shall be collected by transport company and handed over to the State Border Guard;

4.19.2 State Border Guard shall hand the signed forms to the State Police, which is responsible for the enforcement of the requirements of Article 4.12.1 of this Order;

4.22 Ministry of Economics and retailers shall draft, and Minister for Economics shall adopt the measures for ensuring social distancing at sales outlets;

4.22.1 Ministry of Economics together with Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and catering providers shall discuss and Minister for Economics shall adopt a plan of measures for ensuring social-distancing at catering places;

4.22.2 Ministry of Health together and representatives of respective sectors shall discuss and Minister for Health shall adopt a plan of measures for ensuring social-distancing at tattoo studios, piercing studios and beauty salons. Providers of tattooing, piercing and beauty services shall collect the following client data for epidemiological monitoring purposes: name, surname and phone number of a client;

4.22.3 only food shops, pharmacies, including pet pharmacies, opticians, pet food, hygiene and household stores, building and garden supply stores of shopping centres, having ensured adequate social distancing, shall be open on weekends and holidays;

4.24 companies shall primarily ensure the supply of food, medicines and essential goods as well as raw materials for production of these products for the domestic market;

4.27 Council of Sworn Bailiffs and the Council of Sworn Notaries may impose restrictions on visitor appointments or decide to close bailiff or notary offices to visitors. Council of Sworn Bailiffs and Council of Sworn Notaries may identify cases when sworn notaries or sworn bailiffs are allowed to suspend their enforcement activities if such delayed enforcement shall not lead to major infringement of rights or unreasonable setbacks, and if persons responsible for immediate enforcement would be exposed to increased risk of contracting the Covid-19;’;

4.28 prior to returning to the Republic of Latvia, all persons applying for repatriation flights shall confirm in writing that they will comply with special precautionary measures referred to in Article 4.12.1 of this Order, including self-isolation;

4.29 to mitigate the outbreak and impact of Covid-19, Minister for Agriculture shall be entitled to impose additional emergency restrictions on distribution of food, agricultural, forest and fishing activities until lifting of the state of emergency;

4.30 limited liability company TET shall be exempt from the state duty provided in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation 892 ‘Annual state duty for the right of use of numbering’ of 11 August 2009 on four-digit public telephone network operator service code 8303 which is used as crisis hotline for direct access to State Emergency Service. All calls to 8303 from all electronic communication networks shall be subject to zero tariff;

4.30.1 limited liability company TET shall be exempt from the state duty provided in the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation 892 ‘Annual state duty for the right of use of numbering’ of 11 August 2009 on four-digit public telephone network operator service code 8345 which is used by the State Chancellery for integrated crisis communication. All calls to 8345 from all electronic communication networks shall be subject to zero tariff;

4.31 prior to entering Latvian ports, masters, owners, operators or agents of vessels carrying cargo shall submit the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention their Maritime Declaration of Health (Annex 8 of the International Health Regulations). Declaration shall be submitted through International freight logistics and port information system (SKLOIS). Masters, owners, operators or agents, who are not using the International freight logistics and port information system (SKLOIS), may submit Declaration in any other form acceptable to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention;

4.32 to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, Minister for Interior shall decide whether to request the State Provision Agency to use the seized alcoholic liquids (alcohol content above 70%) for disinfecting premises and surfaces, or transfer such liquids to manufacturers for production of disinfectants, until lifting of the state of emergency if the court has made the final ruling in a criminal or administrative case that does not envisage the return of alcoholic liquids or any reimbursement of their value. Ministry of Interior shall draft and through Minister of Interior submit to the Cabinet of Ministers a Draft Cabinet Order on allocation of funding from the State budget programme ‘Funding for unforeseen circumstances’ to Ministry of Interior (and its respective agencies) for production, pre-packaging, packaging and transportation of disinfectants;

4.33 except for requirement to accept donations and financial aid that does comply with restrictions of Section 14.2 of the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials, provisions of the Section 14.3 and Section 14.4 of the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials shall not apply to goods and services donated or transferred to public entities and institutions specifically for mitigating the outbreak and impact of Covid-19;

4.34 if identity document issued by the Republic of Latvia has expired, it can still be used as emergency identity document by its holder until lifting of the state of emergency. Head of the Citizenship and Migration Office or an official duly authorised by the Head of the Citizenship and Migration Office may also decide to issue identity documents in specific cases, especially when there are serious reasons to issue such documents;

4.35 foreign nationals who legally resided in the Republic of Latvia before 13 March 2020 and whose residence permit expired after the 13 March 2020 may stay in Latvia until the lifting of the state of emergency without applying for new residence permit or visa. Their rights to work in Latvia shall be the same as when residence permit and visa was issued;

4.36 foreigners residing lawfully in the Republic of Latvia until 13 March 2020 and whose legal residence period has expired after 13 March 2020 may continue to reside in the Republic of Latvia during the state of emergency without obtaining a new residence permit or visa and retaining the right to employment, if it is established by the said residence permit or visa. Foreigners wishing to continue to reside in the Republic of Latvia with a residence permit must submit the documents requesting or registering the residence permit electronically, confirming the application and the attached documents with a secure electronic signature or sending by post;

4.37 Ministry of Transport shall draft and Minister for Transport shall approve a plan for ensuring social distancing on public transport by limiting the number of passengers. Such restrictions should not, however, prevent passengers from travelling to their workplace;

4.38 if during the state of emergency State Fire and Rescue Service requests to notify the population, mobile operators shall use all available technical resources to immediately send the message of the State Fire and Rescue Service with instructions on how to respond to crisis to all recipients and clients using its network. Mobile operators shall be allowed to process the location and other personal data of electronic network users and clients for this purpose;

4.39 Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economics shall decide on issuing of export authorisations for certain products mentioned in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/402 of 14 March 2020 making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorisation;

4.40 public hearings conducted according to environmental legislation shall be held remotely, avoiding in-person contact. Companies mining natural resources, operators of polluting activities, entities applying for permits or environmental experts responsible for environmental assessment of planning applications shall disseminate information on polluting activities, including major changes therein, envisaged activities and environmental assessment of the planning application in video presentation format. Video presentation shall be uploaded to applicant’s and local government’s webpage. Remote hearings shall continue for at least five workdays. During the public hearings, stakeholders can send questions and receive answers from companies mining natural resources, operators of polluting activities, entities applying for permits or environmental experts responsible for environmental assessment of planning applications through applicant’s official e-mail;

4.41 duration of the state of emergency shall be excluded from public hearing and consultation periods stipulated in the rules and regulations on spatial development planning and launched prior to 23 March 2020;

4.42 stakeholders responsible for adoption of Specially Protected Area protection plans according to Cabinet of Ministers Regulation 686 ‘Content and procedures for development of Specially Protected Area protection plans’ of 9 October 2007 shall cancel or postpone all public hearings held in public;

4.43 National Electronic Mass Media Council may decide to release news, factual and information programmes created by public broadcast media to other electronic media without charge if it does not contradict Section 5.2 and Section 62 of the Electronic Mass Media Law. Procedure for release of media content is described in Section 5.1 of the Law on Prevention of Squandering of the Financial Resources and Property of a Public Person. If electronic media violates the decision of National Electronic Mass Media Council, its rights to use public media content may be revoked.

8. Provisions of this Order that concern individually undetermined circle of addressees are announced according to procedures stipulated in Article 11 of the Law on Notification. This provision does not apply to provisions referred to in Article 4.9 herein.’

2. According to Section 9.3 of the Law on Emergency Situation and State of Exception, State Chancellery shall notify the Presidium of the Saeima about the Order of the Cabinet of Ministers. According to Section 4 of the Law, State Chancellery shall also notify electronic mass media about the amended order.

 

Prime Minister A. K. Kariņš
Minister of Health I. Viņķele

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