Getting the vaccine in Latvia now ensures a better economic certainty

Unvaccinated people in Latvia run the risk of being fired

Unvaccinated people in Latvia run the risk of being fired

The country’s parliament passed a law that allows businesses to take that step

On 4 November, the Latvian Parliament approved a law that allows employers to fire employees if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine or transfer to remote work. The Baltic country is currently in the midst of its worst infection wave since the start of the pandemic. It was also the first in Europe to return to a lockdown situation this autumn.

Latvia has already asked for medical help from the EU

The new law will enter into force on 15 November, allowing for a grace period, and also coinciding with the date when the lockdown measures are set to expire. The provision is that it lets businesses in the country to, at first, suspend without paying those employees who refuse to get vaccinated or work from home (in the latter case only if the nature of the job allows it). After three months have passed and the workers remain unvaccinated, the company will then have the right to terminate their contracts.

Reuters reported that there will be exceptions in order to accommodate such people who do have valid medical reasons and are unable to receive the jab. This will also include people who have recently recovered from the disease and can prove that although it hasn’t been mentioned for what length of time they can rely on such status.

The news agency reported that about 61% of Latvian adults are fully vaccinated, meaning that there has been an increase in numbers since the lockdown began about two weeks ago. However, that rate still lags behind the EU average of 75%.

The situation, however, has become so dire that the authorities were recently forced to ask for medical support from other EU member states. It has come under the form of medical equipment, such as ventilators, sent from the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Hungary.



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