COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Latvia on Friday banned unvaccinated lawmakers from attending in-person and remote parliament meetings as of Monday when the monthlong lockdown ends. Their wages also will be suspended if they are not able to work at the parliament.
The law, approved by the Saeima assembly in a 62–7 vote with two abstentions and 29 absent lawmakers, requires members of parliament and local government members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Baltic News Service reported that a lawmaker may participate in meetings after they present to the assembly’s Mandate, Ethics, and Submissions Committee a certificate confirming that they have been vaccinated against or recovered from the coronavirus, or an opinion of a clinical university hospital specialist recommending postponing vaccination for a certain period of time, together with a negative COVID-19 test.
The law enters into force Nov. 15 and will remain effective until July 1, BNS reported.
Latvian television said 91 of the 100 Saeima’s members have a certificate, as do 696 out of 758 local government members.
Last month, Latvia introduced an 8 p.m.–5 a.m., curfew due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the Baltic country of 1.9 million. Most stores are closed, and indoor and outdoor gatherings, including entertainment, sports, and cultural events aren’t allowed. These restrictions end Nov. 15,
Earlier this month, the Latvian assembly authorized employers to dismiss employees who are required to get vaccinated against the coronavirus but refuse to do so.