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2021.10.19 09:35

Latvia to go into ‘firebreak’ lockdown to contain Covid-19

LRT2021.10.19 09:35

Latvia's government has announced strict measures to last four weeks in an effort to battle a runaway spike in coronavirus infections, the country's' public broadcaster LSM reports.

The strict lockdown, which will include a curfew, a shutdown of non-essential retail and services, and schools switching to remote teaching, will last from October 18 to November 15. The measures still need to be approved by government ministers this week.

“Latvia is in the first place in the world for cumulative morbidity... There are many people, too many people, who are not vaccinated,” Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said after a meeting of the Crisis Management Council on Monday, presenting the measures which have been described as “firebreak” strategy to contain the coronavirus.

According to the government, low vaccination rates are to blame for Latvia's situation, as only about half the population have gotten vaccine shots.

The lockdown measures include a curfew between 20:00 and 05:00, except for people travelling to and from work. All non-essential shops and services will have to close and schools will switch to remote teaching for grades 4–12.

Only workers involved in production, construction and essential services will be able to work in person.

Latvia's 14-day infection rate currently stand at 1,266 new cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the world. Moreover, the country's hospitals are nearly filled to capacity with Covid patients.

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