Latvia to reopen indoor restaurants to vaccinated people

Riga, Jun 10 (EFE).- The Latvian government agreed Thursday to reopen indoor service in bars and restaurants to fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from the disease from June 15.

Vaccinated people will also be able to return to gyms, cinemas and theatres as well as attend concerts and sporting events.

The measures will affect some 386,000 people – 20.4 % of the Baltic country’s population have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 – who can present an electronic certificate confirming their vaccine or recovery.

People with a recent negative Covid-19 test will also be allowed indoors, with mandatory use of face masks, Health Minister Daniels Pavluts said.

Vaccinated or immune individuals will be allowed to gather without restrictions.

Free Covid-19 testing will be available to all Latvian residents and children over the age of 12 until August 1 so that children can accompany their parents to restaurants and public events, Pavluts said.

Prime Minister Arturs Krišjanis Karinš said the country was committed to a vaccination and testing program to ensure all schools in Latvia reopen by fall.

The easing of restrictions come after an over six months lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

While many food establishments in Latvia have tried to survive by offering take-away and home delivery service, the hospitality industry has been severely impacted.

According to first quarter GDP statistics, accommodation or hotel services fell by 61.8% and catering, restaurants and bars fell by 50.7 % in a year.

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