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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 26.10.2020, 12:29

Government decides to cancel Riga Marathon 2020

BC, Riga, 09.10.2020.Print version
The Cabinet of Ministers at an extraordinary meeting on Friday decided to cancel the Rimi Riga Marathon planned this upcoming weekend, informs LETA.

Hearing concerns voiced by the ministers about organization of the marathon in the country at the time when Covid-19 incidence is growing, Rimi Riga Marathon director Aigars Nords explained that the Riga Marathon is planned for two days and nine different distances, and the current epidemiological measures are not breached in its organization.

Nords underscored that the organizers had been cooperating with the Health Ministry and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control to eliminate infection risks during the event.

At the same time, he said that the organizers will respect the government's decision in any case. If the government decides on cancelling the event, Nords called on the ministers to follow the principle of the protection of legitimate expectations, and, considering the fact that the event is cancelled at the last moment, decide on compensations to the organizers of the event.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) called Nords' speech arrogant, adding that the situation with Covid-19 has been changing in the past days. "The pandemic is not asking for permission in the government or the parliament," he said, adding that compensations for the even should be viewed in context with other cases.

Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV) said that there are always safety risks as not all people can be controlled, the even is very popular and many people are coming to watch it.

Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said that there is a rapid Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the incidence in Latvia has exceeded indicators of many other European countries. "In the present situation when we adopt decisions on restricting gathering of people, it is insane to organize a marathon in the city," said Karins.

All ministers objected to organization of the marathon, except for Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development), Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) and Welfare Minister Ramona Petravica (KPV LV).

Lawyers proposed amendments to the regulations on epidemiological safety measures, stipulating that from October 10 until December 31, it is not allowed to organize outdoor events with active people movement of more than 300 participants, such as running, marathons.

As reported, Rimi Riga Marathon had to take place on October 10-11, gathering at least 15,000 participants in different distances.

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