Latvia plans 'lockdown' from October 21

Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš.
Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš. Source: Office of the Government of the Republic of Estonia

Latvia will be in "lockdown" for a month from Thursday as the government tries to bring the coronavirus situation under control and relieve pressure on the healthcare system, Latvia's public broadcaster LSM reported on Monday.

New restrictions include non-essential store closures and a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. The restrictions will apply to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. LSM has the details.

The rules are agreed in principle between the governing coalition parties and further discussed today and Wednesday. They will enter into force on Thursday.

The lockdown is needed as pressure is growing on the country's healthcare system with some hospitals at 80 percent occupancy. If the situation continues, emergency care may have to be reduced, the head of the Emergency Medical Service has said.

Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš said drastic measures are necessary due to the deteriorating situation and highlighted Latvia's low vaccination rate.

"Latvia is in the first place in the world for cumulative morbidity... There are many people, too many people, who are not vaccinated," Karinš said.

He stressed that society should "help our medics for the next four weeks" and said the new measures were intended to reduce contact by at least 40 percent.  

Latvia recorded 1,253 cases of Covid-19 from Sunday to Monday, according to the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC). Monday's figure is usually the lowest of the week.

The country's 14-day infection rate was 1,307.2 per 100,000 people.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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