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Latvia's plans for mandatory vaccination spark huge protests

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Thursday, 19 August, 2021, 17:00
Latvia's plans for mandatory vaccination spark huge protests

Thousands of people have demonstrated in the Latvian capital, Riga, against the prospect of mandatory vaccinations. On Wednesday night, an estimated 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets, marching to the headquarters of the presidency and the prime minister. It was reported to be the largest demonstration in Latvia since 2009. The Latvian government is planning to make vaccination compulsory for many professions and is debating whether to allow employers to fire workers who refuse to be vaccinated. A vote on the issue could come this week. The Baltic News Service (BNS) said the number of people attending exceeded the maximum allowed for public protests, and that most did not observe social distancing or wear facemasks -- even though they are not required at outdoor events in Latvia. Latvian authorities said they were investigating after a few minor incidents were reported, including a smashed police car window. More than 140,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Latvia since the start of the pandemic, with 2,566 deaths.More than 43% of the Latvian population has received at least.

Latvia's plans for mandatory vaccination spark huge protests