Compulsory vaccination in Latvia: who and when?

The government has adopted new changes requiring compulsory vaccination in several sectors, and employers have the right to fire employees if they have failed to do so. The changes have yet to be decided by the Saeima.

By 1 October, in health care, long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions and in the field of education, workers who are in direct contact with patients, clients or children must present a Covid-19 certificate on vaccination or having overcome it.

In the field of education, the requirement applies not only to teachers but to any other school staff who comes into contact with pupils.

State services

Persons with a Covid-19 certificate on vaccination or having overcome the disease will be able to provide and receive services in the state authorities. The exception is where failure to receive a service poses a risk to ensure fundamental human rights: for example, an unvaccinated person will also be able to obtain a passport in the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

The Covid-19 certificate can still be replaced by a negative Covid-19 test from 1 October to 31 December to ensure continuity of service. The exception shall not apply to areas of health and social care and education where the certificate is required as from 1 October.

Other areas

In private and public institutions, excluding education and health and social care, where vaccination is compulsory by requiring a Covid-19 certificate, employers should assess each worker on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the principles of proportionality, rule of law and equality.

The employer can require a Covid-19 certificate from 1 October in the following cases:

The employer shall also have the right to provide for exceptions where persons can continue to carry out their work duties with a certificate attesting to negative results of the Covid-19 test if the provision of the specific action and service does not entail an increased risk of infection.

The employer may transfer the employee to another post if the employee does not have a certificate. Employees can also be suspended for a period of three months, and if the employee has not been vaccinated during that time, they will be allowed to be dismissed.

Judicial officials

Judicial officials, as well as officials belonging to the judicial system, must have a Covid-19 certificate attesting to the fact of vaccination or having had the disease, or a negative result of the test.

Persons who do not have a Covid-19 certificate or a negative result of the test carried out shall be allowed to work on-site only if their service cannot be provided remotely or if the provision of the service poses a risk to the fundamental human rights.

National Armed Forces

The Commander of the National Armed Forces (NBS), taking into account the specific nature of the tasks of the military in ensuring State protection, has the right to require NBS soldiers and civilian personnel to hold a Covid-19 certificate attesting the fact of vaccination or having had the disease.

If a certificate is not present without justifiable objective reason, the Minister for Defense or his authorized commander may terminate the professional service contract with the soldier before the time period.

LSM.LV

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