Regarding Declaration of the Emergency Situation
Taking into consideration the rapid spread of COVID-19 infection and the increasing risk of overloading the health sector, and also on the basis of Section 4, Paragraph one, Clause 1, Sub-clause "e" of the Civil Protection and Disaster Management Law, Section 4, Section 5, Paragraph one, and Section 6, Paragraph one, Clause 1 and Paragraph two, Section 7, Clause 1, and Section 8 of the law On Emergency Situation and State of Exception, Section 3, Paragraph two of the Epidemiological Safety Law, and also in order to reduce a repeated spread of COVID-19 infection in Latvia to a controlled threshold, concurrently ensuring the continuity of important State functions and services:
1. The emergency situation throughout the State territory shall be declared from 9 November 2020 to 6 December 2020.
2. The Crisis Management Council and the Ministry of Health shall be the responsible authorities for the coordination of activities during the emergency situation.
3. The laws and regulations for the suppression of the spread and consequences of COVID-19 infection shall be applicable during the emergency situation, except for Sub-paragraph 6.11, Paragraphs 11, 12, 14, 14.1, 15, 16, 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.5, 16.6, 17, 17.1, 19, 21, 21.1, 22, 23, 24, Sub-paragraphs 27.1.1, 27.1.4, 27.2.5, Paragraphs 27.5, 28, 29, 31, 31.1, 32, 32.1, 32.5, and 32.6 and Chapter XI of Cabinet Regulation No. 360 of 9 June 2020, Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection.
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4. The terms used in this Order correspond to the terms used in the laws and regulations regarding the suppression of the spread and consequences of COVID-19 infection.
5. During the emergency situation:
5.1. any public events on site shall be cancelled and prohibited. The abovementioned prohibition shall not apply to meetings, processions, and pickets organised outdoors (in accordance with the law On Meetings, Processions, and Pickets) in which no more than 50 people participate;
5.2. beauty treatment (except for the services of a hairdresser), piercing, and tattooing services, and also economic services which are related to entertainment and well-being (including in bars, nightclubs, discotheques, aquaparks, bathhouses, SPAs, skating-rinks, gaming halls, sites for organising children's parties, entertainment and amusement centres, trampoline parks, children's playrooms, day-care rooms (also in the shopping centres)) shall be prohibited. The abovementioned prohibition shall not apply to recreation on nature trails;
5.3. the provider of services of a hairdresser has an obligation to ensure that:
5.3.1. the service is provided only upon prior registration;
5.3.2. at least 10 m2 of the publicly available area of premises are provided per visitor;
5.4. gathering of not more than 10 people at the same time and from not more than two households shall be allowed at private events, except for funerals. Gathering of not more than 10 people at the same time (excluding persons who are directly related to ensuring funerals), however, from more than two households shall be allowed in funerals;
5.5. cultural sites, exhibition sites, sports sites, sites where religious activities are performed shall start work not earlier than at 6.00 and end work not later than at 20.00, except for sports centres which end their operation not later than at 22.00. The abovementioned restriction on working hours shall not apply to the sporting events referred to in Sub-paragraph 5.16 of this Order;
5.6. it shall be allowed for public catering facilities to provide only take-away meals;
5.7. only the following shall operate on weekends and public holidays in all shopping centres (in buildings which have been arranged for a permanent and systematic trade with the total area dedicated to trade of at least 10 000 m2 or in which at least 10 trade participants or service providers are operating in individual sales points):
5.7.1. grocery shops;
5.7.2. pharmacies (including veterinary pharmacies);
5.7.3. optician's shops;
5.7.4. pet shops;
5.7.7. shops for hygiene products;
5.7.8. sites for telecommunication goods and services;
5.7.9. issuing of goods if goods have been purchased using means of distance communication;
[13 November 2020]
5.8. the restrictions specified in Sub-paragraphs 5.6 and 5.7 of this Order for the providers of public catering services, and also for the sites where catering is ensured, and for sales points shall not be applicable to the terminal of valsts akciju sabiedrība "Starptautiskā lidosta "Rīga"" [State joint stock company International Airport Riga], and also to public catering sites in educational institutions and working places if they are not available to the public and it is ensured that the flows of groups of people which are not in everyday contact do not physically overlap. The providers of public catering services shall comply with the requirements of Paragraph 20 of Cabinet Regulation No. 360 of 9 June 2020, Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection;
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5.9. a provider of trade services and buyers shall use mouth and nose covers during trade at street vending sites and in the territory of an open market;
5.10. at the sites where trade services are provided, cultural sites, exhibition sites (in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces), and sites where religious activities are performed:
5.10.1. at least 10 m2 of the publicly available area of premises are provided per visitor;
5.10.2. information, including in foreign languages, on the maximum number of persons allowed at this site at the same time is placed at the entrance in a clearly visible place;
5.11. in addition to the conditions referred to in Sub-paragraph 5.10 of this Order, the following shall be ensured at cultural sites and exhibition sites in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces (if an event is not organised):
5.11.1. not more than 50 % of the total possible number of persons allowed by the area and infrastructure of the premises available to visitors are present at the relevant site at the same time;
5.11.2. visitors only arrive individually, except for members of one household;
5.11.3. only one-way flow of visitors is ensured;
5.12. in addition to the conditions referred to in Sub-paragraph 5.10 of this Order, the following shall be ensured at sites where religious activities are performed (if an event is not organised):
5.12.1. not more than 50 % of the total possible number of persons allowed by the area and infrastructure of the premises available to visitors are present at the relevant site at the same time;
5.12.2. Sunday school lessons are held remotely or on site only individually (except for persons living in one household);
5.13. in the field of education:
5.13.1. the provision of child supervision services shall be continued;
5.13.2. the learning process on site shall be discontinued in all educational institutions and the learning shall be ensured remotely, except for:
18.104.22.168. the completion of a pre-school education programme;
22.214.171.124. the completion of a general education programme from grade 1 to grade 6 (including the completion of an international educational programme in the age group of educatees corresponding to the relevant grades);
126.96.36.199. the completion of the practical part of vocational education programmes which is required for obtaining professional skills or qualifications and which cannot be carried out remotely;
188.8.131.52. the completion of the practical part of higher education programmes which is required for obtaining professional skills or qualifications and which cannot be carried out remotely, and the clinical training during residency;
184.108.40.206. the completion of a programme at the educational institution for social correction Naukšēni, in special educational institutions and such special education classes of educational institutions in which special basic education programme is implemented for pupils with severe mental disorders or several severe mental disorders, and also to pupils with mental disorders of special basic education programmes;
220.127.116.11. examinations of an international testing authority in a foreign language, observing that no more than 10 educatees per group participate in the examination on site in the same premises;
5.13.3. the completion of adult continuous vocational training, vocational in-service training, and non-formal education programmes shall be held remotely, except for the completion of such practical part which is required for obtaining professional skills or qualifications and which cannot be carried out remotely;
5.13.4. the completion of programmes of interest education and vocational orientation shall be held remotely, but on site in indoor space - only individually (except for persons living in one household) or only for the educatees of one group or grade of an educational institution who at the same time are not educatees of other groups or grades (except for educational institutions where the vocational orientation education programme is implemented concurrently with the programme of general basic education or general secondary education). Rehearsals of choirs and of collectives of wind instruments on site shall not be allowed;
5.13.5. if the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has imposed mandatory counter-epidemic measures on an educational institution, an educatee or employee of an educational institution, the educational institution shall immediately inform the State Education Quality Service of this fact and further action;
5.13.6. the completion of adult continuous vocational training, vocational in-service training, and non-formal adult education programmes at prisons shall be discontinued;
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5.14. rehearsals of amateur collectives (including choirs, orchestras, folk music ensembles, dance groups, and other folk art collectives) shall be held remotely. It shall be allowed to hold rehearsals on site only individually or for persons living in one household;
5.15. the operation of camps for children shall be discontinued;
5.16. any sporting events (for example, competitions, demonstrations, numbers) shall be prohibited and cancelled, except for:
5.16.1. the sports competitions included in the calendar of sports competitions of international Olympic sports federations (including the official trainings intended before competitions) for athletes of adult teams if they are held without spectators;
5.16.2. the sports competitions of team sports of international and highest leagues in which only adult professional athletes (persons who, on contractual basis and for the remuneration agreed, are preparing for sports competitions and participate therein) participate if they are held without spectators;
5.17. sports trainings (sessions), including within the scope of programmes of interest education and vocational orientation, shall be organised outdoors, individually or remotely, in compliance with the following conditions:
5.17.1. no more than 10 persons gather at the same time in an organised manner in one training group for sports training (session) in outdoor spaces (excluding the sports specialists and sports employees), and locker rooms are not used. If it is permitted by the area of the sports venue of the relevant outdoor space, the work of several training groups may take place at the same time if flows of different training groups do not overlap physically, and also separate supervision of their activity is ensured;
5.17.2. sports trainings (sessions) in indoor spaces are held individually or under management of one sports specialist per person or persons living in one household by maintaining a two-metre distance, and also ensuring at least 10 m2 of the area of the premises of the publicly available sports venue per person;
5.17.3. training of athletes of the Latvian adult team, Latvian Olympic team, or Latvian Paralympic team, and also adult professional athletes (persons who, on contractual basis and for the remuneration agreed, are preparing for sports competitions and participate therein) of teams of international and highest leagues of team sports take place both in indoor spaces and outdoor spaces, and the conditions referred to in Sub-paragraphs 5.17.1 and 5.17.2 of this Order do not apply to them;
5.18. for the support to local governments which is provided in accordance with Cabinet Regulation No. 709 of 8 December 2015, Regulations Regarding the Methodology for the Determination of Costs and the Procedures by which a Local Government shall Cover the Costs of a Pre-school Educational Programme for a Private Educational Institution According to the Average Costs Stipulated Thereby, the restriction referred to in Paragraph 9 of the Regulation shall not be applied to the absence of the child due to a health condition or other justifying reasons until the end of the emergency situation;
5.18.1 when organising the completion of learning content provided for in the educational programme for the first stage of basic education in family in accordance with Cabinet Regulation No. 591 of 13 October 2015, Procedures for Enrolling Students in and Discharging from General Educational Institutions and Special Pre-school Educational Groups, and also for Moving Them up into the Next Grade, the requirement to submit a statement issued by a doctor or a psychologist's opinion specified in Sub-paragraph 22.1 of the abovementioned Regulation shall not be applied until the end of the emergency situation;
[17 November 2020]
5.19. for the purpose of achieving the epidemiological safety objectives, the organisation of court proceedings in the following manner shall be specified:
5.19.1. a court shall use the written procedure as much as possible or shall examine cases remotely;
5.19.2. a court shall decide on organising a court hearing, using video conferencing primarily, particularly in relation to the participation of a participant to the proceedings - a legal person, and also in cases when a case is conducted by an advocate;
5.19.3. oral hearing of a case on site shall be held in compliance with the epidemiological safety requirements if it is not possible to ensure examination of the case in the written procedure or remotely and examination of the case is related to a significant violation of the rights of a person and an objective urgency;
5.19.4. a criminal case according to appeal procedures may be tried in the written procedure also in the cases not referred to in the Criminal Procedure Law. A prosecutor or a person whose interests and rights are violated by the appeal or protest may express a request to examine the case in the oral procedure, justifying it;
5.19.5. criminal cases which have been transferred to a court in accordance with urgent procedures or for examination without a verification of evidence shall be examined by a court of first instance in the written procedure. The court shall, in a notification regarding examination of a criminal case in the written procedure, indicate the rights for a prosecutor, an accused, a defence counsel, and a victim to submit, within 10 days, a removal of the composition of the court, to submit objections against trial of a case in the written procedure, to submit an opinion on the type and amount of a punishment to be applied, and other issues related to the judgment, and also indicate the day of availability of the ruling. If objections against trial of a case in the written procedure has been submitted by a prosecutor, an accused, a defence counsel, or a victim, the court shall take a decision to examine a case in the oral procedure;
5.19.6. a court may examine an administrative case in the written procedure if it is possible to ensure compliance with the procedural rights of participants to the proceedings and the court has not recognised that it is necessary to try the case in a court hearing. The court shall, in a timely manner, inform participants to the proceedings of trial of an administrative case in the written procedure, specifying a term for the submission of additional explanations or other procedural requests;
5.19.7. a court may examine an administrative offence case in the written procedure if it is possible to ensure compliance with the procedural rights of participants to the proceedings and the court has not recognised that it is necessary to try the case in a court hearing;
5.19.8. if it is not possible to ensure examination of a case in the written procedure or remotely and the issue is not related to a significant violation of the rights of a person and an objective urgency, the examination of the case shall be postponed until revocation of the emergency situation;
5.19.9. judicial services shall only be available remotely;
5.20. investigative actions in pre-trial criminal proceedings, if possible, shall be performed remotely. For achievement of the epidemiological safety objectives, investigative actions may be postponed, in an exceptional case, until revocation of the emergency situation if postponing of the investigative actions does not cause a significant violation of the rights of the persons involved in proceedings;
5.21. the Latvian Council of Sworn Bailiffs and the Latvian Council of Sworn Notaries may determine restrictions for the reception of visitors on site or decide on the discontinuation thereof at the locations of the practice of sworn bailiffs and sworn notaries;
5.22. a sworn bailiff and a sworn notary may decide on suspension of the official activities if the fulfilment thereof may be related to an increased risk for the persons involved to become infected with COVID-19 and the fulfilment of such activity is not related to an objective urgency, and suspension does not cause a significant violation of the rights;
5.23. an Orphan's and Custody Court may examine a case and take decisions in a meeting of the Orphan's and Custody Court in the written procedure (without the presence of persons) if it has not recognised that it is necessary to examine the case in the oral procedure. The authority (official) shall, in a manner corresponding to the nature of written procedure, ensure the same extent of rights for the participants in the proceedings as in the oral procedure;
5.24. if a case is examined in the written procedure (without the presence of persons), becoming acquainted with the materials of such case shall be ensured remotely. An Orphan's and Custody Court shall, within three working days after receipt of a relevant application signed by the person, send scanned copies of the case materials to the e-mail address indicated by the person or information on electronic access to the case materials (ensuring the possibility to become acquainted with the case materials or to obtain a copy);
5.25. an Orphan's and Custody Court may determine that procedural actions, including the actions to be performed in a meeting of the Orphan's and Custody Court, are performed using video conferencing in compliance with the restrictions specified due to the spread of COVID-19 and the epidemiological situation in the State;
5.26. if an Orphan's and Custody Court is hindered in the fulfilment of the tasks specified in the Law on Orphan's and Custody Courts, except for the tasks specified in Chapters VII and VIII of the abovementioned Law, the Orphan's and Custody Court may transfer the fulfilment of individual tasks to another closest Orphan's and Custody Court for a specific period of time and such other Orphan's and Custody Court has the duty to take over the abovementioned tasks for a specific period of time;
5.27. the commencement of serving the sentence of a temporary deprivation of liberty and criminal punishment - arrest - at prisons shall be suspended and detaining and delivering of such persons to prisons to whom a temporary deprivation of liberty, criminal punishment - arrest - has been adjudged or to whom the fine or community service adjudged by a court judgment has been replaced with a temporary deprivation of liberty shall be discontinued;
5.28. transfer and takeover of convicted persons and persons under arrest (except for such persons under arrest and convicted persons the date of executing the transfer or takeover of whom prior to coming into force of this Order has already been approved and for whose convoying all the necessary transport tickets have already been purchased) for subsequent execution of the punishment of deprivation of liberty or arrest in prisons in the territory of the Republic of Latvia shall be postponed;
5.29. convoying of prisoners to courts shall be discontinued, except for the cases which contain the official secret object. Convoying of prisoners shall be discontinued upon request of a person directing the proceedings, except for cases if a consent has been received from the head of the institution or his or her authorised official;
5.30. the movement of prisoners between prisons (except for the movement of prisoners due to safety reasons, movement to the Latvian Prison Hospital at Olaine Prison, and movement of convicted persons for the commencement of the execution of the sentence) shall be suspended;
5.31. the head of the Prisons Administration, the Chief of the State Police, and the Chief of the State Fire and Rescue Service have the right:
5.31.1. to assign any official with special service rank of the Prisons Administration, any official with special service rank of the State Police, or any official with special service rank of the State Fire and Rescue Service respectively the fulfilment of any service duties other than those specified in the job description or to fulfil them in another unit;
5.31.2. to employ the staff of the Prisons Administration, the State Police, and the State Fire and Rescue Service respectively continuously for more than 24 hours;
5.32. long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions shall accept new clients by evaluating the possibility of guaranteeing safety of the client and the need to receive a service without delay, and also the resources necessary for the provision of the service, ensuring care on a priority basis and reducing the amount of social rehabilitation services if it is not possible to ensure them to full extent due to objective reasons;
5.33. other providers of social services which provide social services with full or partial accommodation shall continue care at home, care at a day centre, social rehabilitation services for violence victims at crisis centres and placement of a child left without parental care in a long-term social care and social rehabilitation institution or a crisis centre, and temporary accommodation of persons without a place of residence in a shelter or night shelter, ensuring compliance with the epidemiological safety requirements and the necessary precautionary measures;
5.34. the provision of social rehabilitation and psychosocial rehabilitation services shall be permitted, only ensuring compliance with the epidemiological safety requirements and the gathering restrictions specified in the State and specifying that:
5.34.1. individual services are provided on site;
5.34.2. consultations are provided remotely;
5.34.3. social services are provided on site if the client has been tested for COVID-19 and the test is negative;
5.35. an employer has an obligation:
5.35.1. to ensure the possibilities of remote work for employees if the special nature of the work allows it and the employee has the possibilities to perform work duties at home effectively;
5.35.2. to ensure personal protective equipment to employees for work on site which are necessary for the performance of work duties (for example, mouth and nose covers, aprons, coveralls);
5.35.3. to specify measures for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 in the work collective, appointing a person responsible for the introduction of such measures at the working place and informing employees of the abovementioned measures;
5.36. the condition laid down in the laws and regulations regarding the obligation of the addressee to sign in the area of the informative notice "date and signature" or on the sensor of the signature capturing device shall not be applicable during the emergency situation, if the postal operator, upon using consignment processing systems which prepare and aggregate the consignment receipt data, ensures documentary or electronic evidence that the particular consignment has been issued.
5.37. bringing in the territory of Latvia of minks and raw mink skins shall be prohibited.
[17 November 2020]
6. A natural person has an obligation to comply with the requirements referred to in Paragraph 5 of this Order, whereas, the organiser of the event or the provider of the economic or public service has an obligation to ensure that the person has a possibility to comply therewith.
7. The Minister for Defence shall take a decision on the provision of support by the National Armed Forces to the State Border Guard, the State Police, the Prisons Administration, and also to the civil defence system, evaluating the impact of the request expressed on the fulfilment of the direct tasks of the National Armed Forces and the conformity level of preparedness of the National Armed Forces for the fulfilment of the relevant task.
8. The Minister for Defence shall take a decision on the course of the learning process in military educational institutions. The Minister for the Interior shall take a decision on the course of the learning process in educational institutions of the system of the Interior. The Minister for Justice shall take a decision on the course of the learning process in the Training Centre of the Prisons Administration.
9. The determination of such overtime work which exceeds the maximum overtime work specified in the Labour Law, the Law on the Career Course of Service of Officials with Special Service Ranks Working in Institutions of the System of the Ministry of the Interior and the Prisons Administration, and Section 53.1, Paragraph two of the Medical Treatment Law but does not exceed 60 hours per week shall be allowed in State and local government medical treatment institutions which provide inpatient health care services, for employees of ports and capital companies controlled thereby, and also for the persons employed in the State Emergency Medical Service, for the civil servants and employees of the Ministry of Health, the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the State Revenue Service, the National Health Service, the system of the Ministry of the Interior, and also for the officials with special service ranks of the Ministry of the Interior shall be permitted. The provisions of Section 136, Paragraph four of the Labour Law shall not be applicable to the cases referred to in this Paragraph. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of the Interior shall request the additional financial resources necessary for overtime work remuneration from the State budget programme 02.00.00 "Funds for Unforeseen Events".
10. The determination of such overtime work which exceeds the maximum overtime work specified in the Labour Law but does not exceed 60 hours per week together with the normal work time shall be allowed for the employees of local government social service offices, and also for the employees of providers of such social services which ensure accommodation, care, and supervision. The provisions of Section 136, Paragraph four of the Labour Law shall not be applicable to the cases referred to in this Paragraph.
11. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the responsible sectoral ministries shall, according to the competence, inform international organisations, if necessary, in accordance with the procedures laid down in international agreements of disengagement from the international liabilities of Latvia if the fulfilment of such liabilities is not possible during the emergency situation.
12. The measures shall be financed from the State budget resources allocated to the authorities in accordance with the law On the State Budget for 2020, as well as upon a motivated request of the authorities from the State budget programme 02.00.00 "Funds for Unforeseen Events". In such cases, the decision to grant funding shall be taken by the Cabinet.
13. It shall be determined that the State authority specified in Section 3, Paragraph two of the law On Emergency Situation and State of Exception shall be the relevant sectoral ministry which aggregates claims of persons against the State for the damage caused and submits them to the Ministry of Finance.
14. The State Chancellery shall, in accordance with Section 9, Paragraph three of the law On Emergency Situation and State of Exception, notify the Presidium of the Saeima regarding the decision taken by the Cabinet and shall, in accordance with Paragraph four of the abovementioned Law, inform the public electronic mass media of the decision taken.
15. The decisions referred to in this Order, if they concern an individually undetermined circle of addressees, shall be notified in accordance with the procedures provided for in Section 11 of the Law on Notification.
Prime Minister A. K. Kariņš
Minister for Health I. Viņķele
Translation © 2020 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)