Updated: Oct 23
From 21st October - 14th November Latvia is in lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 after finding itself as one of the most infected places on the planet.
Once hailed a Covid success story, Latvia missed much of the early pandemic and rolled on blissful into the uncertain seas of these strange times. The lockdown period in Latvia is known as 'Mājsēdi' or 'Home sitting' which does not soften the reality of what is going on by the use of nice words.
This sadly means all of our activities are forced to close until further notice. During this time a curfew will be in place from 20:00 - 05:00 and only essential shops will be operating. Cafes and restaurants can only work in takeaway mode and all museums, cultural events and public gatherings are forbidden.
With a slow start to the vaccination program and a very divided society in Latvia regarding personal health, we stand currently at around 51% vaccinated adults as of October 2021. Hospitals are currently overloaded, regular appointments cancelled and a difficult uphill struggle to reach certain groups in society to persuade them to vaccinate, all leads to big challenges.
The Latvian Government has created measures whereby employers can dismiss unvaccinated staff depending on their contact with the public and made state institutions mandatory for vaccination, with a deadline set to encourage those who wish to continue in their jobs.
It seems that their is many people in the general Latvian public who are not willing too vaccinate, be it due to misinformation, lack of information or personal choice. One thing for certain is that the pandemic is causing a totally new dynamic to the divides in Latvian society that were once easily defined along ethnic lines. Now, ideology and information appear to be the new front on which lines are drawn and where politicians are looking to take advantage of.
If you would like to read more about the exact rules in English, please click on the link for Lockdown rules in Latvia - https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/society/official-lockdown-information-published-in-english.a426677/