Latvia enters a new lockdown after record daily COVID cases

Shops and restaurants in the Latvian capital will close once again as a new nationwide COVID-19 lockdown comes into force.

Only essential businesses such as pharmacies and food stores will be permitted to open until November 15.

The government also imposed a curfew from 20:00 to 5:00 and extended school holidays until 29 October. Younger students will return to school from 1 November, but older pupils will continue remotely.

“There is fatigue,” said a local man, “also about masks at work. Something seems wrong”.

“Staying at home will be the most difficult. I am an athlete, I like to go to training,” said another local.

The 14-day cumulative infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants increased from 1,400 cases on Wednesday to 1463, also a record since the start of the pandemic.

Of positive cases confirmed on Thursday, 2,265 people were unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, and just 670 were fully vaccinated.

Makeshift beds are being installed in hospitals as the Baltic state suffers the highest daily rate of infections since the pandemic began.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš called on Latvians to get vaccinated.

“I must call on all vaccinated people to be prepared to bear the burden, which I know is unfair,” he said. “We need to do so because other people are unvaccinated. If we do not bear this burden, everyone will suffer,” the PM added.

Only 54 per cent of Latvian adults have been fully vaccinated, well below the EU average of 74 per cent.


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