View the Country Report for Latvia in the Oxford Compendium of National Legal Responses to Covid-19
The first Covid-19 case in Latvia was confirmed on 2 March 2020. Shortly after, on 12 March 2020, the Government of Latvia declared the first state of emergency, which ran until the start of June 2020. The first wave of Covid-19 was mild, and the country navigated it successfully compared to the experience of many other countries. During the first stage, international traveling was strictly limited, education was provided remotely, sports centers, culture and entertainment establishments were shut down, and organized public events were banned. Retail stores were closed during weekends, except those that provided essential goods. During the summer of 2020, the number of Covid-19 cases remained low. The infection case count started to increase rapidly at the end of September 2020 and soared by the end of October 2020. The second state of emergency was declared by the Cabinet as of 9 November 2020. During the second stage numerous restrictions such us remote education, closure of shops and services, ban on public and private gatherings, international travel and stay at home order during weekends were introduced. It lasted until 6 April 2021. Unfortunately, during the winter and spring 2021, Latvia was mostly falling behind the curve. During the first year of the pandemic, there have been more than 86,000 confirmed cases, and more than 1,600 deaths attributable to Covid-19. Lately the level of cases has fallen but consolidated at a relatively high level. Restrictions are slowly being lifted.
Latvia, officially known as the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. The Republic of Latvia was established as a state on November 18th, 1918. It has approximately 2 million inhabitants. The constitutional framework of the Republic of Latvia is provided by the Constitution (Satversme) adopted on 15 February 1922. When Latvia declared independence from the Soviet Union 1990 it reverted to the Constitution of 1922. Latvia is a parliamentary republic and democratic power is balanced between the unicameral parliament (Saeima), the President of the State, the Executive - the Prime minister and Cabinet of ministers (government) and the court system. The Saeima was one of the first parliaments in the world to fully shift to remote work during the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to the new e-Saeima platform, plenary sittings can now be held remotely, with MPs participating from outside the parliament premises. Latvia was the first country launching a COVID - 19 contact tracing app on 29 May 2020.