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LEGAL ACTS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIA
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Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

21 July 2020 [shall come into force from 24 July 2020];
1 October 2020 [shall come into force from 12 October 2020].

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.

The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following law:

Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection

Chapter I
General Provisions

Section 1. (1) The purpose of the Law is to restore the general legal order after the end of the time limit for emergency situation by providing a set of appropriate measures for ensuring such scope of rights and obligations of private individuals which would be commensurate with public health and safety interests and effective operation of the State and local government authorities (hereinafter - the public authorities) in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection in the State.

(2) The Law lays down basic principles for the operation of public authorities and the rights and obligations of public authorities and private individuals for the prevention and management of the threat to the State after revocation of the emergency situation created by the spread of COVID-19 infection.

(3) Upon determining the set of necessary measures, the following general principles shall be applied:

1) minimising the restrictions on human rights - rights of persons shall be restricted only in cases where there are no other alternative measures that protect the public health and safety effectively;

2) minimising the threat to public health - precautionary measures shall be determined by evaluating the threat of the COVID-19 infection spreading in Latvia and foreign counties and shall be implemented by evaluating all existing risks to minimise the threat of the repeated spread of COVID-19 infection;

3) availability of public and publicly relevant services - precautionary measures may not completely preclude the availability of services, they may be restricted only to such extent which is necessary for the health and safety of the persons involved in the provision and receipt of services.

Section 2. (1) Unless otherwise specified in other laws, the public authorities shall reinstate their operation as provided in laws and regulations in accordance with the provisions of this Law and also the following conditions:

1) the provision of services remotely shall be continued to the extent possible, without restricting the rights of private individuals and creating excessive administrative burden on an authority;

2) the receipt of services in person shall be reinstated only when such services cannot be provided remotely, ensuring the safety of employees and recipients of services in accordance with the epidemiological safety requirements and recommendations;

3) the cases that were deferred during the emergency situation shall be examined on priority basis, unless a case which has been received later should be examined urgently.

(2) The conditions referred to in Paragraph one of this Section shall apply also to the activities of private individuals insofar as it is necessary for the safety of persons in accordance with the epidemiological safety situation in the State.

Chapter II
Restrictions on the Rights of Persons

Section 3. In accordance with this Law, restrictions on the rights of private individuals may be imposed only when the risks to public safety that are related to the spread of COVID-19 infection cannot be effectively eliminated by applying the legal means specified under the general legal procedures. If the objective necessity to maintain the measures restricting persons has ceased to exist, such restrictions on rights must be revoked.

Section 4. If the COVID-19 infection spreads or there are threats that it could spread, the Cabinet can determine the following for the epidemiological safety purposes:

1) the requirements, including restrictions, for gathering in public events (in accordance with the definition provided in the Law on Safety of Public Entertainment and Festivity Events), meetings, processions, and pickets (in accordance with the definitions provided in the law On Meetings, Processions, and Pickets), organised religious activities to be carried out by gathering, and private events that are organised indoors or outdoors;

2) the regulations regarding the operation of sites for the performance of cultural and religious activities, entertainment, sports, and other recreational sites;

3) the requirements, including restrictions, for persons when they are at public places;

4) the requirements, including restrictions, for the provision and use of carriage of passengers services and own-account carriage services;

5) the requirements, including restrictions, for passengers, vehicles, vehicle drivers, and crew members;

6) the rights and obligations of organisers and providers of carriage services and passengers;

7) such special epidemiological safety measures which persons must implement;

8) the conditions and procedures for the organisation of educational process, including for the ensuring of the learning process remotely;

9) the procedures by which the funds provided in the State budget for the catering of educatees in grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 who are completing the basic education programme at educational institutions on site shall be allocated and used within the remote learning process;

10) the procedures by which the earmarked grant of the State budget that has been allocated for covering the maintenance expenditures of special education institutions shall be used for the catering of educatees within the remote learning process;

11) the conditions and procedures for the organisation and course of sports trainings (sessions) and also sporting events;

12) the course of the learning process and epidemiological safety requirements in national defence training camps;

13) during the spread of COVID-19 infection, the hygiene requirements for food trade undertakings and public catering undertakings in addition to the requirements specified in laws and regulations;

14) the reliefs applicable during the spread of COVID-19 infection in accordance with the laws and regulations regarding handling of primary food products in small amounts;

15) the restrictions on the provision of health care services (maintaining those health care services which are life-saving and which require continuity of treatment);

16) the procedures by which the service of assistant shall be financed to educatees with a disability to whom the service of assistant financed from the State budget has been granted in accordance with the procedures specified in laws and regulations for supporting moving about and performing self-care at an educational institution within the remote learning process.

Section 5. Organisers of the public events, meetings, processions, and pickets laid down in Section 4, Clause 1 of this Law shall indicate in the event organisation application the methods by which the epidemiological safety and precaution shall be ensured in the event. Organisers of the religious events laid down in Section 4, Clause 1 of this Law shall indicate the information specified in this Section in the organisational documents of the event, for example, the internal rules of procedure, regulations, information signs, and similar documents.

Section 6. Upon monitoring those persons to whom home quarantine or isolation has been specified in accordance with the Epidemiological Safety Law, the Health Inspectorate has the right to involve the State police and municipal police.

Section 6.1 (1) The information system for monitoring persons shall be used for minimising the threat of spread of COVID-19 infection and for ensuring the monitoring of the persons referred to in Section 6 of the Law.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the amount of information to be included in the information system for monitoring persons, the procedures for inclusion and the time periods for storage, and also the authorities to which access to the information included in the system is granted.

[1 October 2020]

Section 6.2 If there are grounds to believe that a person inside the vehicle has an obligation to include information in the information system for monitoring persons, the employee of the State Police, the employee of a municipal police, and a border guard have the right to stop the vehicle in order to verify if such obligation has been fulfilled.

[1 October 2020]

Section 6.3 (1) The contact tracing and warning information system shall be used in order to determine the persons who have been exposed to an increased risk of infection and to warn them about a potential contact with a COVID-19 patient, and also to ensure cross-border exchange of the Minimum Set of Data in the European Federation Gateway with the national contact tracing and warning systems of other countries. The European Federation Gateway is a data exchange platform established and maintained by the European Commission the purpose of which is to ensure the interoperability of national mobile applications for contact tracing and warning by receiving, storing, and making available, through secure information technology tools, the minimum set of personal data to the managers of the national contact tracing and warning information systems.

(2) The Cabinet shall determine the manager of the contact tracing and warning information system and the joint manager of the European Federation Gateway in Latvia, the rights and obligations of the abovementioned managers, and also the amount of information to be included in the contact tracing and warning information system and the procedures for inclusion, the amount of and procedures for information exchange, and also the term for the storage of information.

[1 October 2020]

Section 7. (1) A provider of cultural, entertainment, and sports services who cannot provide the services that have been planned in advance and placed for sale due to the gathering restrictions imposed for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 infection has the right to reschedule the event to another time suitable therefore by notifying thereof not later than six months after the day when the restrictions are revoked. The event must take place not later than within a year after the day when the restrictions are revoked.

(2) If a consumer cannot attend the event on the rescheduled date due to justified reasons (for example, the consumer cannot be in the country where the event takes place, serious health restrictions prevent the consumer from attending the event), the service provider shall, upon a request, repay the money within a time limit which does not exceed six months after the day when the relevant restrictions are revoked.

(3) If a service provider cannot ensure the rescheduling of an event that has been planned in advance, it has the right to offer another equivalent event to the consumer or, if the consumer rejects the offer, the service provider shall repay the money within a time limit which does not exceed six months after the day when the restrictions are revoked.

Chapter III
Special Conditions for the Operation of Judicial System, State and Local Government Institutions and Receipt of their Services

Section 8. (1) A submission for the issuing of an administrative act, changing the intention of an institution in respect of its actual actions, receipt of a statement, or a submission for contesting an administrative act may only be submitted in writing.

(2) In specific cases, an institution may accept a submission for the issuing of an administrative act via telephone if the institution has other possibilities of identifying the submitter and the request made thereby.

(3) Within administrative proceedings, a submission may be submitted electronically in the service portal of the State administration www.latvija.lv without a secure electronic signature if the submission is submitted and the identity of the person is verified through online forms which are available in this portal.

(4) The Procurement Monitoring Bureau has the right to examine contestation submissions without hearing participants to the case in person. Participants to the case have the right to submit an additional opinion in writing, sending it electronically to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau not later than within one working day before the notified date of the meeting for the examination of the submission.

(5) A person who wishes to change the entry on the given name, surname or nationality in documents can submit the relevant submission to the Civil Registry Department of the Ministry of Justice.

(6) An institution shall not issue statements on the application of those laws and regulations which provide the regulatory framework for the furlough allowance and furlough assistance allowance.

Section 9. (1) An authority (official) may examine an administrative offence case in the written procedure if it has not deemed it necessary to examine the case in the oral procedure. The authority (official) shall, in a manner corresponding to the nature of the written procedure, ensure the participants to the proceedings the same scope of rights as in the oral procedure.

(2) If an administrative offence case is examined in the written procedure, access to the files of this case shall be provided remotely. An institution shall, within three working days after receipt of the relevant application signed by the person, electronically send scanned copies of the case files or information regarding access to the case files (possibility to become acquainted with the case files or obtain their copy) to the e-mail address indicated by the person.

(3) The administrative commission may examine a case regarding application of compulsory measures of correctional nature in the written procedure if it has not deemed that the case must be examined in the oral procedure. The administrative commission shall, in a manner corresponding to the nature of the written procedure, ensure the participants to the proceedings the same scope of rights as in the oral procedure.

(4) If there are sufficient grounds to believe that the vehicle driver and also a master of a ship and an aircrew member is under the influence of alcohol or intoxicated, an official shall carry out the breath alcohol screening test with a meter designed for such purpose. The abovementioned person shall be transported to a medical treatment institution for testing only when the breath alcohol screening test cannot be carried out with the meter which is at the disposal of the official.

Section 10. A court may examine a civil case in the written procedure if the conformity with the procedural rights of the participants to the case can be ensured and the court has not deemed that it is necessary to try the case in a court hearing. The court shall, in a timely manner, inform the participants to the case of trying of the civil case in the written procedure, specifying a time limit for the submission of additional explanations or other procedural requests.

Section 11. (1) An application for legal protection proceedings, insolvency proceedings of a legal person, and insolvency proceedings of a natural person may be submitted electronically by signing it in compliance with the requirements of Section 3 of the Electronic Documents Law.

(2) In the cases specified in the Civil Procedure Law, only the recipient shall make an entry on the receipt of an electronically submitted application in the register of the relevant application.

Section 12. (1) Under appeal procedures, a criminal case may be tried in the written procedure also in cases not specified in the Criminal Procedure Law, unless a prosecutor or a person whose interests and rights are infringed by a complaint or protest objects thereto.

(2) The person directing the proceedings may suspend criminal proceedings in accordance with the procedures laid down in Section 378 of the Criminal Procedure Law, provided that all the procedural actions which are possible without a suspect or accused have been performed and provided that the circumstances preventing the suspect or the accused from participating in the criminal proceedings due to the epidemiological safety measures declared in the State for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 infection have been ascertained.

(3) Transfer of prisoners from and to foreign countries and the execution of a European arrest warrant may be postponed due to the epidemiological safety measures determined in Latvia or a foreign country.

(4) For the convoying of prisoners, including upon a request of the persons directing the proceedings or to court hearings, the shortest possible convoying route and the return or getting of the prisoner to the prison on the same day shall be ensured, if such is possible.

Section 13. If a law provides that a court judgment shall be available at the Court Registry, the judgment shall be sent to a person if a request has been received therefrom.

Section 14. With the coming into force of this Law, the term of office of a representative of the Commission of Disciplinary Matters of Sworn Bailiffs who has been elected by the general meeting of sworn bailiffs and whose term of office has expired during the emergency situation shall be reinstated until the moment when the general meeting of sworn bailiffs re-elects this person or another sworn bailiff is elected to the composition of the Commission of Disciplinary Matters of Sworn Bailiffs.

Section 15. A leave of up to 12 months may be granted to a sworn notary. In the submission for leave, a sworn notary shall indicate that it is based on the economic consequences of the emergency situation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection and justify the inability to maintain the practice. In such case, the actions referred to in Section 176, Paragraph two of the Notariate Law are taken immediately.

Section 16. Assistant to a sworn notary is exempted from taking the examination of an assistant to a sworn notary if employment relationships with the sworn notary are terminated due to the economic consequences of the emergency situation caused by COVID-19 infection and new employment relationships with the sworn notary have been established not later than a year after the termination of employment relationships. Upon informing the Minister for Justice of the termination of employment relationships with an assistant to a sworn notary in accordance with the procedures specified in Section 154, Paragraph three of the Notariate Law, a sworn notary shall indicate whether the employment relationships have been terminated due to the economic consequences of the emergency situation caused by COVID-19 infection.

Section 17. In accordance with the procedures specified in laws and regulations, the Council of Certified Mediators shall, by 31 December 2020, announce information regarding the organisation and date of the regular certification examination of mediators planned in 2020, and also the deadline by which a submission for taking the certification examination of mediators shall be submitted. The certification examination of mediators shall be organised not later than by 31 May2021. The deadline for applying to the taking of the certification examination of mediators shall expire not earlier than two months before the announced examination date.

Section 18. Upon deciding on the extension of the time limit, restoration of rights, or continuation of proceedings, if the relevant time limits cannot be conformed to due to the spread of COVID-19 in the State, the Patent Office has, in the cases specified in the Patent Law, the Law on Trade Marks, and the Law on Designs, the right not to apply the fee specified in the abovementioned laws for the extension of the time limit, restoration of rights, or continuation of proceedings until 31 December 2020.

Section 19. (1) In addition to the tasks specified in the State Ensured Legal Aid Law, the Legal Aid Administration shall organise special consultations (in accordance with the categories of matters specified in the State Ensured Legal Aid Law) by telephone or in writing, using the toll-free information line 116006 "Hotline for victims of crime" and online consultation tool.

(2) The Legal Aid Administration shall assign such legal aid providers for the provision of the aid referred to in Paragraph one of this Section with whom a legal aid contract has been concluded. The amount of hourly remuneration for a legal aid provider shall be determined in accordance with the Cabinet regulations regarding the extent of the State ensured legal aid, the amount of the remuneration, reimbursable expenses, and the procedures for their disbursement.

(3) The service shall be ensured until the moment when the allocated funding has been spent.

Section 20. (1) The public consultation specified in the environmental laws and regulations, except for the consultation on the environmental review of the local government spatial development planning document, shall be organised remotely.

(2) The extractor of natural resources, operator of the polluting activity, initiator of the intended activity or developer of the nature protection plan or environmental review of planning document, or the responsible person shall prepare a video presentation on the polluting activity, including its substantial changes, intended activity, nature protection plan, environmental or safety review of the planning document, or industrial accident prevention programme and shall publish it on its own website and the website of the relevant local government.

(3) Remote consultation shall take place at least five working days during which the extractor of natural resources, operator of the polluting activity, initiator of the intended activity or developer of the nature protection plan or environmental review of planning document, or the responsible person shall provide a possibility for the interested persons to ask questions and receive answers thereto through a specified e-mail address and using an online video conferencing tool or another online communication tool. Questions and answers shall be registered and saved in a form accessible by the public.

(4) In the cases specified in this Section, public consultation shall be organised so that the conditions for public participation would conform to the provisions of the environmental laws and regulations.

Section 21. (1) The local government shall organise the public consultation on the spatial development planning documents and environmental review of the planning document in person in accordance with the regulations regarding the development of spatial planning documents and strategic environmental impact assessment and with the procedures specified for gathering.

(2) Public consultation on the local plan and detailed plan of a local government and their environmental reviews shall be continued only remotely if the public consultation on these documents has been commenced before declaration of the emergency situation and has taken place in person for at least two weeks, and, furthermore, the public consultation meeting has been organised. If a public consultation has been commenced during the emergency situation, it shall be continued in person for at least two weeks after revocation of the emergency situation, including by organising the public consultation meeting.

(3) Upon ensuring the public consultation on the local plan and detailed plan of a local government and their environmental reviews remotely, the local government shall provide access to the relevant documents on the websites which have been specified in the laws and regulations regarding the procedures for the development of spatial planning documents and strategic environmental impact assessment.

(4) In the cases specified in Paragraph two of this Section, a public consultation shall be organised so that the total duration of public consultation would correspond to the laws and regulations regarding the development of spatial planning documents and strategic environmental impact assessment, and these conditions are also applicable to the consultation on the updated wording of the local plan and detailed plan.

(5) A report on the proposals received during public consultation, its evaluation and information regarding the consideration or rejection of proposals shall be published in the Spatial Development Planning Information System and website of the local government not later than within five working days before the local government takes the decision to approve the spatial planning document.

Section 22. (1) If the term of validity of a personal identification document issued in the Republic of Latvia has expired within 30 days before the emergency situation or during the emergency situation, this personal identification document may still be used for the identification of a person for two months after revocation of the emergency situation in the Republic of Latvia. The holder of the personal identification document shall submit documents for the issuing of a new personal identification document within two months after revocation of the emergency situation.

(2) The temporary identity card may be used for two months after revocation of the emergency situation. The holder of the temporary identity card shall hand over such identity card to the issuing institution within two months after revocation of the emergency situation.

(3) After such identity card has been handed over to the issuing institution, it shall immediately revoke the certifications included in the temporary identity card. If the holder of the temporary identity card does not hand over the temporary identity card to the issuing institution within the time limit specified in Paragraph two of this Section after revocation of the emergency situation, the issuing institution shall immediately revoke the certifications included in such card.

Section 23. Certificates, licences, attestations, certifications, passes, permits, registration documents and other similar documents issued by public authorities or State capital companies the issuing of which was suspended in accordance with Section 17 of the law On the Operation of State Authorities During the Emergency Situation Related to the Spread of COVID-19 shall be issued not later than within three months after revocation of the emergency situation.

Section 24. (1) The local government binding regulations regarding the spread of COVID-19 infection and an explanatory memorandum shall be proclaimed by publishing them in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis. The Cabinet shall determine the amount of fee for the publication of binding regulations in the official gazette Latvijas Vēstnesis, procedures for its collection, and reliefs.

(2) The local government binding regulations referred to in Paragraph one of this Section shall come into force on the day following their proclamation unless another time period for coming into force has been specified therein.

(3) The local government shall, by electronic means, send the local government binding regulations referred to in Paragraph one of this Section to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development for information within three working days after their signing.

Section 25. (1) The State Centre for Defence Military Sites and Procurement shall centrally purchase personal protective equipment, medical devices, and also the service of the laboratory testing of the abovementioned goods without applying the Public Procurement Law. The Cabinet shall determine the categories and amount of the personal protective equipment and medical devices to be purchased. As regards the purchases made, the State Centre for Defence Military Sites and Procurement shall publish information in its buyer profile which is on the website of the State information system regarding the concluded contracts, indicating the name and registration number of the economic operator, the subject-matter of the procurement, date when the contract is concluded and its total sum, and also appending the contract and its amendments.

(2) The State Fire and Rescue Service shall keep a list of priority authorities and needs in which State institutions, local government authorities and institutions, State and local government capital companies, Latvian Red Cross, religious associations (churches), the partner organisations involved in the distribution of the aid of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, medical treatment institutions, social care centres, practices of general practitioners, pharmacists, and microbiology reference laboratories shall be included upon a proposal of the relevant ministry.

(3) The State Centre for Defence Military Sites and Procurement shall ensure the issuing of the personal protective equipment and medical devices referred to in Paragraph one of this Section, and those resources for ensuring epidemiological safety which have been purchased during the emergency situation to the supply coordinators.

(4) The head of the State Centre for Defence Military Sites and Procurement shall decide on the transfer of the personal protective equipment and medical devices, and those resources for ensuring epidemiological safety which have been purchased during the emergency situation and the validity of this Law without compensation to the authorities included in the list referred to in Paragraph two of this Section, including through the intermediation of supply coordinators. Transfer of such property shall be registered by signing the deed of acceptance and delivery. The State Centre for Defence Military Sites and Procurement shall publish information on its website regarding the recipient of the property, and also description, amount, and balance value of the transferred property. Movable property which has been transferred in accordance with the procedures specified in this Section but has not been used up during the validity of this Law shall be returned.

(5) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for the purchase, storage, and issuing of personal protective equipment and medical devices and also the procedures for the storage and issuing of those resources for ensuring epidemiological safety which have already been centrally purchased.

(6) The Cabinet shall determine lighter procedures that are based on the criteria for the security of supplies for the conformity assessment of the personal protective equipment and medical devices which may be purchased in the procurements organised by public persons.

[1 October 2020]

Section 26. Within the scope of the application of European Union regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Economics, exercise control over the export of such personal protective equipment and other goods which are necessary for the eradication of COVID-19 infection.

Section 27. (1) The Minister for Foreign Affairs may, considering the restrictions specified due to the spread of COVID-19 or the epidemiological situation in countries where the diplomatic and consular missions of Latvia are located, determine with an order the procedures for the provision of the consular assistance and consular services specified in the Law on Consular Assistance and Consular Services, where necessary, suspending their provision in person.

(2) Acceptance of applications for the issuing of diplomatic and service passports at a Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the issuing of documents to a person may be organised through consular officials of the diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Latvia abroad.

Section 28. The Minister for Foreign Affairs may, considering situation in the foreign country where the diplomatic and consular mission of the Republic of Latvia is located, decide on temporary transfer of diplomats and the civil servants and employees of the diplomatic and consular service from their place of service in a foreign country to Latvia without retaining the salary benefit, benefit for the stay of the spouse abroad, benefit for the stay of a child abroad and benefit for covering expenses of the transport to be used for service needs provided for in laws and regulations. Upon calculating absence in 2020, the period of the emergency situation shall not be considered.

Section 29. In accordance with the provision of Articles 3(4), 4(6), 5(5), 7(5), and 8(5) of Regulation (EU) 2020/698 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 laying down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID‐19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation, this Regulation shall not be applicable to driving licences, routine inspections of tachographs, driver cards, roadworthiness tests, European Community licences for international carriage of goods and passengers and their copies.

Section 30. (1) Officials with special service ranks of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of the Interior and the Prisons Administration who have the right to receive medical rehabilitation course paid by the Health and Sports Centre of the Ministry of the Interior within a year after an accident at work, sustained injury or surgical operation and to whom the time limit for the receipt of such course expires during the emergency situation or within a month after revocation of the restrictions on receipt of medical rehabilitation have the right to receive a medical rehabilitation course paid by the Health and Sports Centre of the Ministry of the Interior within three months after revocation of the abovementioned restrictions.

(2) Officials with special service ranks of the institutions of the system of the Ministry of the Interior and the Prisons Administration shall, not later than until 31 March 2021, undergo periodic mandatory health examinations and planned repeat health examinations which were discontinued during the emergency situation in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection or the performance of which at the specific term is affected by the epidemiological safety measures declared in the State for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 infection.

[1 October 2020]

Section 31. The State Employment Agency may shorten the time period for a notification of collective redundancy specified in Section 107, Paragraph one of the Labour Law by determining it shorter than 30 days. The State Employment Agency shall immediately notify in writing an employer and representatives of employees of the shortening of the time period.

Section 32. (1) Foreigners to whom the term for legal stay has expired during the emergency situation declared in the State are entitled to continue their stay in the Republic of Latvia for up to two months after revocation of the emergency situation without obtaining a new residence permit or visa and retaining the right to employment, if such has been specified.

(2) Until 31 December 2020, the inviter - natural or legal person - of a foreigner shall submit documents for the approval of an invitation or sponsorship by using the service "Approval of an invitation or sponsorship for requesting a visa or residence permit in the Republic of Latvia" available on the portal www.latvija.lv. If the inviter of a foreigner is a legal person or the reason for inviting is related to employment, documents for the approval of an invitation or sponsorship may be submitted electronically by approving the application and documents appended thereto with a secure electronic signature.

(3) Until 31 December 2020, foreigners who are staying in the Republic of Latvia shall submit the documents for requesting or registering a residence permit by post or electronically by approving the application and documents appended thereto with a secure electronic signature. This condition also applies to those foreigners who do not stay in the Republic of Latvia and wish to request a repeated residence permit or register a residence permit, or are citizens of a European Union Member State, country of the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation.

(4) When examining the submission of a foreigner for the issuing or registration of a residence permit or the matter of annulling the foreigner's residence permit, the requirement of the Immigration Law regarding the existence of sufficient financial means for the person to stay in the Republic of Latvia and also the requirement to perform active economic activity in 2020 (including payment of a specific tax amount) shall not be applicable. This provision does not apply to foreigners who have submitted documents for requesting the first temporary residence permit after revocation of the emergency situation in Latvia.

(41) Upon examining the matter of granting, registering or annulling the permanent residence permit, absence from the Republic of Latvia during the period from 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020 shall be considered justified.

(5) The period between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 shall not be included in the term of validity of the decision on the issuing or registration of a residence permit.

(6) The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs may annul a temporary residence permit for a foreigner or may revoke an issued visa or the decision on the issuing of a visa or temporary residence permit if it has established or received information from the Health Inspectorate, State Police or municipal police that the foreigner has violated the provisions for isolation, self-isolation, quarantine or home quarantine or the gathering restrictions laid down in laws and regulations. Contesting and appeal of the abovementioned decision shall not suspend its operation.

[21 July 2020]

Section 33. The foreigner whose document which grants the right to enter and stay in the Republic of Latvia has expired may enter into and exit from the Republic of Latvia in transit within two months after revocation of the emergency situation in order to return to his or her country of residence.

Section 34. (1) An electronic communications merchant which provides a public mobile electronic communications network shall, according to the technical capabilities, send to the person (roaming customer who has registered in the network of a Latvian mobile operator and users of the voice service of a Latvian mobile operator who have registered in the network of their operator after roaming) who has arrived in Latvia an automatic notification containing the title, content of the unified notification prepared by the Ministry for Health and the sender to be indicated in the notification submitted to the mobile operator by the State Fire and Rescue Service.

(2) Upon providing voice telephony services, an electronic communications merchant shall ensure users free dialling of the telephone number 8303.

Section 35. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development shall be responsible for ensuring secure remote work within the State administration.

Section 36. (1) The application to be submitted to the Enterprise Register and documents appended thereto shall be submitted electronically using the special online form available on the website of the Enterprise Register, if such has been created, or in paper form by post.

(2) If the law provides that the signature of a person on the document to be submitted to the Enterprise Register (application, document to be appended to the application or another document) must be notarised, this requirement shall be fulfilled if the signature has been certified by a sworn notary or, where the document has been drawn up in electronic form, it has been signed with a secure electronic signature.

Section 37. The period when a national guardsman has fulfilled service duties by providing support to State and local government authorities for the elimination and management of the threat to the State created by the spread of COVID-19 infection and consequences thereof shall not be included in the period specified in Section 6, Paragraph two of the National Guard Law for the execution of the National Guard tasks and training. The provision of such support shall be counted in days, and the compensation for the execution of service tasks or training shall be disbursed to a national guardsman for each task execution day in accordance with the procedures specified in laws and regulations.

Chapter IV
Special Provisions for the Execution of Criminal Punishments

Section 38. (1) The visitation of a prison and the rights of prisoners specified in law may be temporarily restricted by an order of the head of the Prisons Administration in order to ensure epidemiological safety.

(2) The rights of probation clients specified in law, including the right to leave the country, may be temporarily restricted and also the implementation of specific State Probation Service functions may be suspended or restricted in a specific territory or the entire territory of the State by an order of the head of the State Probation Service in order to ensure epidemiological safety.

(3) The head of the Prisons Administration or a person authorised thereby shall manage crisis situations of any kind at a prison.

Section 39. (1) Within a month after revocation of the emergency situation, the Prisons Administration shall send a registered letter to the person who has been sentenced to temporary deprivation of liberty if the judgment has come into effect or has been transferred for enforcement during the emergency situation by indicating in the letter the deprivation of liberty institution and time when the person must arrive to serve the punishment of temporary deprivation of liberty.

(2) The Prisons Administration shall ensure that the persons referred to in Paragraph one of this Section commence the serving of the punishment of temporary deprivation of liberty not later than six months after the end of the emergency situation.

Section 40. If a prison admits a prisoner who has been transferred from a foreign country, such prisoner shall be placed in a quarantine cell for a period of up to 14 days. During this period the prisoner is subject to the restrictions of rights referred to in Section 42, Paragraph one of this Law.

Section 41. (1) Upon ensuring short or long-duration meeting of convicted persons with relatives and other persons, the deprivation of liberty institution shall consider the date when the submission for a visit has been submitted. Organisation of visits shall be ensured as priority to those convicted persons to whom visits were not ensured due to the declaration of the emergency situation.

(2) Transfer of a prisoner to a medical treatment institution outside a prison for the receipt of health care services, including planned consultations of physicians specialists, diagnostic examinations and inpatient treatment, shall take place on the first come, first served basis after the medical treatment institution has approved the provision of the relevant service to the prisoner.

Section 42. (1) A prisoner who has been recognised as a contact person and a prisoner to whom COVID-19 infection has been established or who is suspected of being infected shall be placed separately from other prisoners for a period of up to 14 days. During this period the prisoner shall be under the surveillance of medical practitioners, criminal procedural activities shall not be performed therewith, the prisoner shall not be convoyed upon a request of the persons directing the proceedings, including to court hearings, shall not be involved in resocialisation measures, short and long-duration visits, right to receive guests and also right to phone calls, video communication, right to temporarily leave the prison, and marriage registration shall not be ensured thereto.

(2) If quarantine is determined in a specific prison or the whole prison system, the restrictions specified in Paragraph one of this Section shall initially apply to all prisoners of the relevant prison. During the quarantine, the head of the Prisons Administration shall regularly review the restrictions imposed on prisoners.

Section 43. (1) The State Probation Service may replace a face-to-face meeting with the probation client with remote communication.

(2) A decision of the head of the State Probation Service which has been taken based on Section 14, Paragraph one of the law On the Operation of State Authorities During the Emergency Situation in Relation to the Spread of COVID-19 shall be in effect until the end of the time limit specified in the decision.

Chapter V
Special Conditions in the Field of Education, Sports, and Tourism

Section 44. (1) The term of accreditation of general education institutions, vocational education institutions, and examination centres (except for colleges), and also general education programmes and vocational education programmes (except for vocational higher education programmes) which ends before 31 August 2020 is extended until 31 December 2020.

(2) A licensed general education programme or licensed vocational education programme (except for a vocational higher education programme) which is to be accredited by 31 August 2020 is treated as an accredited education programme for a period until 31 December 2020 if the State Education Quality Service has, until the day of coming into force of the law On the Operation of State Authorities During the Emergency Situation in Relation to the Spread of COVID-19, received an accreditation submission from an educational institution and the educational institution is implementing another accredited general education programme or vocational education programme (except for a vocational higher education programme). An educational institution implementing such educational programme is entitled to issue State-recognised education documents regarding the acquisition of education corresponding to the educational programme until 31 December 2020.

(3) Assessment of professional activity of the heads of educational institutions which is to be performed by 31 August 2020 shall be extended until 31 December 2020.

(4) If an opinion of the State pedagogical and medical commission and local government pedagogical and medical commission on the most appropriate educational programme for an educatee with special needs states that a repeated evaluation of the health condition, abilities, and development level of the educatee is to be done until 31 August 2020, the time limit for the evaluation shall be extended until 31 December 2020, and until then the existing opinion shall be applied.

(5) The term of validity of a certificate of sports specialists and shooting instructors which ends before 31 August 2020 shall be extended until 31 December 2020.

Section 45. (1) Section 46, Clause 2 of the General Education Law shall not apply to the duration of the academic year 2019/2020 for grade 12. The academic year 2019/2020 for grade 12 shall last until 7 July 2020.

(2) In the academic year 2019/2020, State examinations for the acquisition of the general basic education do not take place, except for the centralised examination in the Latvian language for educatees in minority educational programmes who wish to take this examination.

(3) In the academic year 2019/2020, a certificate of general basic education and a report card shall be issued to educatees for the acquisition of the general basic education. Also the certificate of basic education shall be issued to the educatees who take the examination referred to in Paragraph two of this Section for the acquisition of general basic education.

Section 46. (1) If a traveller has concluded a package travel contract and one of the parties has unilaterally terminated the contract due to the declaration of the emergency situation in the Republic of Latvia created by the spread of COVID-19 infection or due to force majeure circumstances in the holiday destination in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection, the tour operator, instead of repaying such amount, is entitled to draw up a certification to the traveller for the amount of the unused trip (hereinafter - the certification) which the traveller can use for the purchase of other trips from that tour operator for the sum which has been paid to the tour operator by the traveller or a tour agency on behalf of the traveller if a special permit (licence) has been issued thereto and it has a valid security.

(2) The certification shall be issued in accordance with the following conditions:

1) sum of the certification shall correspond to the sum which the traveller has paid to the tour operator or agent through which the package was purchased;

2) the certification shall include information regarding the issuer, holder, date of issuing, sum of money, and validity period;

3) the certification shall be valid for 12 months from the day when the emergency situation has been revoked in the State;

4) the certification shall be issued free of charge;

5) the certification shall include a reference that it has been issued in relation to the circumstances created by the spread of COVID-19 infection.

(3) If a traveller refuses to receive the certification, the tour operator and traveller may agree on another solution, including repayment of the money and repayment time limit which cannot exceed 12 months from the day when the emergency situation is revoked in the State.

(4) If the certification or agreement on the repayment of money is reached for a period when the existing security is not valid anymore, the tour operator has an obligation to inform the traveller of the expiry of the term of validity of the existing security a month before the expiry of the valid security. If the tour operator has not received a new security two weeks before the expiry of the term of validity of the existing security, the tour operator has an obligation to inform the traveller and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre thereof and also to repay the whole amount of the money paid in by the traveller until the end of the term of validity of the existing security.

(5) A traveller can transfer the certification to another person or group of persons under a prior agreement thereon with the tour operator.

(6) If a traveller does not spend the entire sum specified in the certification or a part thereof for the purchase of another trip within the term of validity specified in the certification, the tour operator shall repay the unused sum of money to the traveller within 14 days after the end of the term of validity of the certification.

(7) A tour operator shall keep a record of the certifications by indicating at least their holder, date of issuing, value, and term of validity. Information regarding the issued certifications shall be submitted to the Consumer Rights Protection Centre once per quarter together with quarterly reports.

(8) The security of a tour operator (insurance policy issued by an insurer or a guarantee issued by a credit institution) shall apply to the certifications issued to travellers in accordance with the scope of commitments provided in the security.

(9) The amount of the security for a tour operator shall be at least in the amount of the sums paid in by travellers, however, not less than EUR 15 000 if tourism services are provided outside the territory of the Republic of Latvia, Republic of Estonia, and Republic of Lithuania, or EUR 5000 if tourism services are provided only in the territory of the Republic of Latvia, Republic of Estonia, and Republic of Lithuania, or EUR 3000 if tourism services are provided only in the territory of the Republic of Latvia.

Chapter VI
Conditions for the Provision of Social and Health Care Services

Section 47. If a provider of social services is able to ensure compliance with the epidemiological safety measures, the placement of new clients in social service institutions which provide social services with accommodation is allowed.

Section 48. If the term of validity of the status of a low-income or needy person or status of a needy person according to provisions for the receipt of aid specified by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (average income per family member does not exceed EUR 242 per month) determined to a family (person) expires or it needs to be extended within three months after revocation of the emergency situation, a local government social service office has the right to determine such status based on the previously submitted documents. During this period, the family (person) shall retain all the benefits and reliefs granted by a local government and the State to which such family (person) has the right as a low-income or needy family (person).

Section 49. If a police decision on separation or a court decision on temporary protection against violence which prohibits to stay in a dwelling has been taken with regard to a person who must implement special epidemiological safety measures during the validity of this Law and the person himself or herself is not able to ensure self-isolation, a local government shall, to the extent possible, provide this person with a place for self-isolation. The person (except for a person with disability and a person who has been recognised as a low-income or needy person) shall cover the expenses related to the provision of the place for self-isolation.

Chapter VII
Administrative Liability for the Failure to Comply with the Restrictions Specified in the Law

Section 50. (1) For the failure to comply with the isolation, self-isolation, quarantine, home quarantine or gathering restrictions specified in this Law and the Cabinet regulations issued pursuant to this Law, a fine from two to four hundred units of fine shall be imposed on a natural person, but on a legal person - a fine from twenty-eight to thousand units of fine.

(2) For the failure to submit a temporary identity card to the issuing institution within the time limit specified in this Law, a warning or a fine of up to seven units of fine shall be imposed.

(3) For the failure to fulfil the obligation imposed on the person to include information in the information system for monitoring persons, a fine from two to four hundred units of fine shall be imposed.

[21 July 2020; 1 October 2020]

Section 51. (1) Administrative offence proceedings for the offences referred to in Section 50, Paragraph one of this Law shall be conducted by the State Police, the Health Inspectorate or municipal police.

(2) Administrative offence proceedings for the offence referred to in Section 50, Paragraph two of this Law shall be conducted by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

(3) Administrative offence proceedings for the offence referred to in Section 50, Paragraph three of this Law shall be conducted by the Health Inspectorate, the State Police, the State Border Guard, and a municipal police.

[1 October 2020]

Transitional Provisions

1. With the coming into force of this Law, the law On the Operation of State Authorities During the Emergency Situation in Relation to the Spread of COVID-19 (Latvijas Vēstnesis, 2020, No. 67B, 88B) is repealed.

2. Until 30 June 2020, the enforcement of the administrative penalty - administrative arrest - shall not be carried out.

3. The requirement of Section 20, Paragraph four of this Law to provide a possibility for the interested parties to ask questions and receive answers through the use of an online video conferencing tool or another online communication tool during remote consultation shall not be applied if the public consultation specified in the environmental laws and regulations has been announced until the day of coming into force of this Law.

4. The examination of cases which has been commenced in the written procedure in accordance with Section 4, Paragraphs one and three and Section 5, Paragraphs one, two, and five of the law On the Operation of State Authorities During the Emergency Situation Related to the Spread of COVID-19 shall be completed in the written procedure.

[21 July 2020]

5. The payment specified in Section 19 of this Law shall be made from the funds granted to the Legal Aid Administration under the budget sub-programme 03.03.00 of the Ministry of Justice "Provision of Legal Aid" in accordance with the law On the State Budget for 2020 by allocating funding of not more than EUR 12 000 for this purpose.

6. If allowed by the epidemiological safety requirements, a prison shall ensure the following within a month after revocation of the emergency situation:

1) commencement of the execution of the incentive - the permission of the head of the deprivation of liberty institution to temporary leave the territory of the deprivation of liberty institution - on the first-come, first served basis;

2) reinstatement of the implementation of interest and informal education programmes;

3) reinstatement of the marriage registration for convicted persons;

4) by previously agreeing thereupon with the relevant employer, the permission for a convicted person to leave an open prison within the scope of employment;

5) permission for convicted persons in open prisons to receive guests;

6) reinstatement of the operation of the commission which decides on the transfer of convicted persons sentenced with deprivation of liberty for life (life imprisonment) to premises where those convicted persons which are not sentenced for life serve their sentence at a closed prison;

7) reinstatement of accepting parcels intended for convicted persons.

7. Within a month after revocation of the emergency situation, the State Probation Service shall:

1) review the restrictions imposed on probation clients and revoke them if such restrictions have been imposed based on the emergency situation declared in the State and are not needed anymore;

2) commence the organisation of the execution of the criminal punishment - community service - and compulsory measure of correctional nature - community work - for the probation clients to whom the execution was suspended for the period of the emergency situation.

8. Section 35 of this Law shall come into force on the day when the law On Measures for the Prevention and Suppression of Threat to the State and Its Consequences Due to the Spread of COVID-19 is repealed.

9. Chapter VII of this Law shall come into force concurrently with the Law on Administrative Liability.

10. This Law shall be in force for as long as there are threats to the epidemiological safety in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection. At least once every three months, the Cabinet shall submit to the Saeima a report on the threats to the epidemiological safety in relation to the spread of COVID-19 infection. The Saeima shall recognise this Law as repealed by a separate law.

The Law shall come into force on the day following its proclamation.

The Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 5 June 2020.

President E. Levits

Rīga, 9 June 2020


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2020 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
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