Latvian govt adopts plan to phase out Covid restrictions

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The Latvian government has adopted a three-step plan to phase out nearly all Covid-19 restrictions by April, local media reported.

The restrictions will be eased gradually, taking into consideration the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant which is still straining the Baltic country’s health system, Xinhua news agency reported.

The first phase of the plan, which comes into effect this Wednesday, primarily concerns children who will no longer need a Covid certificate to receive a service or attend an event. With Covid incidence expected to start dropping towards the end of February, the Health Ministry proposes a further easing of rules from March 1.

“April 1 is the indicative date for ending safety measures,” Health Minister Daniels Pavluts said in a news conference following the government meeting on Tuesday.

As of March 1, people will be allowed to enter large shopping centers without presenting their Covid certificates proving vaccination or recovery from the virus. Instead, retailers will have to provide at least 15 sq metres of floor space per shopper. Covid certificates will not be required at outdoor events and religious gatherings.

The vaccine certificates will still be needed to attend public events in indoor settings, to receive in-person services like beauty care, and to participate in activities like choir rehearsals or to gym workouts.

Establishments like nightclubs and amusement parks that have remained closed almost throughout the pandemic will reopen on March 1.

The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) on Tuesday reported 11,105 new cases and 12 deaths related to the virus.

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