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Latvia toughens COVID-19 restrictions amid virus uptick

At an extraordinary meeting on Friday, the Latvian government decided to toughen COVID-19 containment rules for cafes, bars and restaurants amid an increase in new coronavirus cases in the Baltic country, the portal Baltic-course reported. 

Photo by YAKOBCHUK VASYL / Shutterstock.com

The number of people allowed to sit at one table is now limited to four indoors and eight outdoors, and all cafes and restaurants, which until now were allowed to stay open until 2 a.m., are now required to close by midnight.

The ministers also agreed to relaunch a cross-sectoral coordination group tasked with drafting proposals for further coronavirus restrictions if warranted. The task force was dissolved after Latvia lifted a state of emergency in June.

The health authorities said the uptick results from outbreaks linked to several restaurants in Riga, the capital city, and the seaside resort of Jurmala, and to a high-school graduation party, Baltic-course added.