Riga, 15 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The Latvian government has decided to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for health and education workers.
From October, employees of medical, social and educational institutions will have to show a vaccination certificate.
In other sectors, employers will have the right to dismiss unvaccinated workers after October 1, according to the changes agreed by the government in Riga on Wednesday.
The EU country’s parliament still has to approve the new rules.
The vaccination campaign in Latvia, with its 1.9 million inhabitants, has been off to a slow start.
So far, about a third of the Baltic state’s population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
“We have talked about incentives to promote vaccination, we are seeing the start of an information campaign targeting people. This bill was also drafted with the aim of getting people to change their behaviour,” said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 138,000 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Latvia, and more than 2,500 infected people have died.
The infection rate has been decreasing for weeks. At the same time, an increasing spread of the particularly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus has been observed.
According to Health Minister Daniels Pavluts, it accounts for almost 54 per cent of all new infections.