Due to a worrying surge in coronavirus cases, the Latvian government announced a new State of Emergency, which took effect on November 9, 2020. Unfortunately, these measures were unable to contain the pandemic, so more drastic restrictions have come into effect and will last until at least January 25. In addition to the usual measures that have been enacted to curb the spread of Covid-19, including the wearing of face masks in all indoor public places, only shops selling groceries and other necessary items will be permitted to operate during this time. A curfew from 22:00 - 05:00 will also be in place throughout the country on Friday and Saturday nights in January. This means that grocery stores and pharmacies as well as restaurants and bars will only be able to operate from 06:00 - 21:00 on those days. Wearing a mask is now also mandatory in all public transport including for children from age 7. Restaurants and bars that choose to remain open can only offer takeaway food and drinks. Private events can only take place for members of one household. Public events including sports, theatre and opera have all been cancelled. Essentially, only supermarkets, pharmacies, opticians and petrol stations will be available, but the original ban on the sale of alcohol or cigarettes on Saturdays and Sundays has been lifted. Although cinemas, libraries and art galleries will be closed , museums that offer exhibitions outdoors can remain open, but to a limited number of visitors. Nature trails at national parks will also be available to the public. Anything not deemed essential, such as beauty salons, gyms, tattoo parlours, etc. will be closed. Since the pandemic began, there have been 55,908 reported Covid-19 infections in the country and 983 deaths. 41,817 patients have recovered from the virus. Thankfully, the first shipment of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine was received in Latvia on December 26, 2020, but the rollout has been slow.
If you have decided to remain at home or are in self-isolation, local delivery services Wolt and Bolt can bring lunch or dinner directly to your door (see our home delivery feature for more options). If you have acute Covid-19 symptoms call 113 for the paramedics. For more information about Covid-19 in English click here.