Covid-19 in Latvia: The emergency situation has been revoked

10.06.2020 Covid-19 in Latvia: The emergency situation has been revoked

On 10 June 2020, the state of emergency was abolished in Latvia, but at the same time the state aid measures and restrictions imposed (with certain exceptions) remain in force.

On Friday, 5 June 2020, the Saeima adopted the Law on Overcoming the Consequences of the Spread of Covid-19 Infection, which will regulate the state aid measures and determine the measures to prevent the consequences of Covid-19 after the end of the emergency situation on 9 June 2020.

It should be taken into account that applicants (except for the idle time benefit and the idle time assistance benefit), which within the meaning of the Public Procurement Law are legal entities or an association of persons established offshore, as well as legal entities registered in Latvia, in which more than 25% of the shares (stock) belong to a legal entity or an association of persons established offshore, will be excluded from the range of recipients of the state aid.

The law will take over many norms of laws and regulations in force so far, for example, but not limited to:

  • the idle time benefit and the idle time assistance benefit will be granted until 30 June 2020;
  • the right of taxpayers to apply for the split of tax payments by instalments or deferral of payment of taxes for up to three years will be maintained;
  • the CIT payer who has made donations to mitigate Covid-19 consequences will be entitled to increase the amount of donations not included in the CIT taxable base by additional 3% of the profit of the preceding reporting year after calculated taxes until 31 December 2020, thereby increasing the amount of donations not included in the taxable base to 8%;
  • it is allowed to sell alcoholic beverages using a distance contract;
  • Until 31 December 2020, an employer who meets the criteria set for the participants of the Programme may reduce the employee's idle time remuneration by paying only 70% instead of 100% of the employee's salary or to grant the employee unused annual paid leave without taking into account the preferences of the employee;
  • It will be possible to make changes to the collective agreement concluded with the trade union, stipulating that in the event of a temporary drop in production, the employee will be assigned part-time work. Changes to the collective agreement may be valid for a period not exceeding 31 December 2020;
  • Until 1 September 2020, creditors are prohibited from submitting an application for insolvency proceedings of a legal entity;
  • Until 1 September 2020, interest for late performance of civil law obligation may not exceed the statutory 6%;
  • the term of written objections to the debtor set by the creditor or the debt recovery service provider shall not be shorter than 60 days (valid until 1 September 2020);
  • the holder of the commercial pledge register shall adopt the decision on the use of commercial collateral rights within 60 days (valid until 1 September 2020);
  • likewise, companies, regardless of industry, will be able to apply for previous aid instruments administered by the financial institution “Altum” up until the end of 2020

The law is available here

The Saeima also adopted the Law on Management of the Spread of Covid-19 Infection, according to which the State may impose restrictions on the rights of individuals, if public safety risks related to the spread of Covid-19 infection cannot be effectively prevented by applying the legal means established by the general legal procedure.

 

  • The law takes over the already established administrative liability for non-observance of restrictions: a fine for a private individual – from EUR 10 to EUR 2,000, for a legal entity – from EUR 140 to EUR 5,000.
  • The law determines the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers for the purposes of epidemiological security:
    • to impose restrictions on the assembly;
    • to determine specific epidemiological security measures to be taken by individuals;
    • to determine additional hygiene requirements for food trade companies and public catering establishments;
    • to determine restrictions on the provision of health services;
    • study process and other restrictions.
  • The law introduces new norms that apply to consumers:
    • The cultural, entertainment and sports service provider shall have the right to postpone the event, by giving a notice no later than six months after the abolition of the restrictions. The event must take place no later than one year after the abolition of the restrictions, but, if the consumer is unable to attend the event on the postponed date, the service provider shall refund the money on request no later than within a period of six months .
    • If the service provider is unable to ensure the postponement of a previously planned event, it shall have the right to offer the consumer another event of equivalent value, but, if the consumer refuses the offer, to refund the money no later than within a period of six months.
    • Tour operators will be able to issue a voucher to the travellers for the value of the unused trip instead of the refund of the money for the trip that has not taken place.  At the same time, the opportunity for the traveller to receive a full refund remains valid.

The draft law is available here

On 9 June 2020, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in society, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the regulation “Epidemiological security measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 infection”, based on 4 principles – information, hygiene, distancing and health status monitoring. The regulation prescribes the following requirements, but is not limited to:

  • wearing mouth and nose protectors in public transport;
  • provision of services on appointment, if possible;
  • in public events and during the provision of services, special precautions should be ensured for persons aged 65+ and persons with chronic conditions;
  • persons who have been prescribed self-isolation, domestic quarantine or have symptoms of Covid-19 disease are not allowed to stay in the workplace;
  • in public events and during the provision of services, persons should be informed about observing distance, hygiene and invited not to visit public places, if the person has Covid-19 disease or has symptoms of Covid-19 disease;
  • Assembly restrictions:
    • from 10 June to 30 June 2020, not more than 100 people indoors and 300 people outdoors;
    • from 1 July to 31 July 2020, not more than 100 people indoors (in the case of an area of <1,000 m2) or 500 people (in the case of an area of >1,000 m2) and 1,000 people outdoors;
    • from 1 August to 31 August 2020, not more than 250 people indoors (in the case of an area of <1,000 m2) or 500 people (in the case of an area of >1,000 m2) and 1,000 people outdoors.
  • International passenger transport via airports, ports, by buses and rail transport is not carried out to countries published on the website of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) of Latvia;
  • From 10 June 2020, the movement of persons and vehicles through border crossing points of the external border of the European Union from/to countries published on the website of the CDPC is prohibited.
  • If a person has been diagnosed with Covid-19 disease, self-isolation should be observed, but if the CDPC has recognised a person as a contact person, 14 days of quarantine should be observed.

 For more information about the rules and exceptions please see here