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Covid-19 in Latvia: State of Emergency extended until 9 June 2020

General

  • From 12 May 2020, it is allowed to hold public events both indoors and outdoors, by observing distance of 2 meters. The number of participants in the event may not exceed 25 people, and the maximum duration of the event shall be 3 hours;
  • Mouth and nose cover shall be worn when using public transport;
  • From 12 May 2020, museums, libraries, the National Archive will be able to gradually resume operations, the same applies to cultural events that can be observed from personal auto transport (drive-in events);
  • The shopping centres can be open on weekends and holidays;
  • From 12 May 2020, it is allowed to organize tourism services for travel only in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Taxes

  • A CIT payer, who has made donations to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, shall, until 31 December 2020, be entitled to increase the amount of donations not included in the taxable amount for the taxation period by another 3% of the profit after taxes for the previous reporting year, thereby increasing the amount of donations not included in the taxable amount to 8%.

Employment

  • Until 31 December 2020, an employer who does not meet the criteria for receiving the idle time benefit, but meets the criteria set for a participant in the In-depth Cooperation Program and who has been adversely affected by the crisis caused by Covid-19 may:
  1. reduce the employee’s idle time compensation by paying only 70% of the employee’s salary instead of 100% (at least in the amount of the minimum salary and including the minimum amount of maintenance for a dependent child/children);
  2. grant the employee unused annual paid leave, regardless of the employee’s wishes, namely, when required by the employer.
  • It will be possible to make changes to the collective agreement concluded with the trade union, stipulating that in the event of a temporary drop in production, the employee will be assigned part-time work. Changes to the collective agreement may be valid for a period not exceeding 31 December 2020.
  • An employee, who does not agree to a reduction in idle time compensation, use of paid leave or part-time workhas the right to terminate the employment contract without observing the 1-month term. In such case, the employer is obliged to pay the severance pay to the employee, in the amount specified in the Labor Law.
  • The idle time period, during which taxpayers can receive the idle time benefit, has been extended until 30 June 2020, but not longer than for the period while the Cabinet decision on the emergency situation is in force.
  • Persons returning to work from parental leave during idle time will receive an idle time benefit of 100% of the parental benefit granted for the six month period preceding the declaration of the emergency situation, but not exceeding EUR 700 per calendar month.
  • The employer affected by the crisis has an obligation to inform the SRS about the termination of idle time for an employee, who has been granted an idle time benefit, or about other circumstances that form the basis for the termination of the payment of the granted idle time benefit.
  • The employer will be able to apply to the SRS for the receipt of idle time benefit for employees, who perform additional economic activity and whose monthly income does not exceed EUR 430.
  • From now on, a person cannot simultaneously receive crisis benefit paid by the municipality and the idle time benefit paid by the state.

New powers to the tax administration

  • The SRS will have the right to provide information to the public about the reasons for refusing the idle time benefit or other support measures without receiving the taxpayer’s consent.