The Latvian government decided at its cabinet meeting on Tuesday to relax or lift most COVID-19 restrictions, including those involving mask mandates and COVID certificates, Latvian public broadcaster LSM wrote.
Director of the State Chancery Janis Citskovskis said that the COVID-19 certificate would continue to be required of employees in healthcare, education and prisons, LSM's English-language online news portal reported.
Beginning next Friday, the mask mandate will be lifted in most places as well. Masks will continue to be required in public transport, social care establishments and in healthcare.
While service providers and event organizers reserve the right to require masks, COVID certificates or distancing, the general mask mandate will be lifted in other sectors, including in stores and in schools.
Beginning April 1, arrivals to Latvia from the EU, the Schengen area, Switzerland or the U.K. will no longer be required to present a COVID certificate.Conditions regarding travel from other third countries, however, will remain unchanged.
Persons who have been in close contact with someone infected with the COVID-19 virus must wear an FFP2 respirator for seven days following the time of contact. Quarantine requirements in instances of close contact will only remain in healthcare and social care establishments.
Following Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Minister of Health Daniels Pavluts said that the measures represent an "increase in personal responsibility," but cautioned that the future course of COVID-19 in the fall and beyond yet remains to be seen.
Estonia to discuss dropping public mask mandate
As both the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of people with COVID requiring hospitalization are on the decline, the Estonian government plans to discuss next week whether to replace mask mandates in public spaces with the recommendation to wear a mask, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Tuesday.
Editor: Aili Vahtla