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Coronavirus: Latvia plans to end its COVID-19 state of emergency on June 9

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Latvia's Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins arrives for the second day of a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 21, 2020,
Latvia's Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins arrives for the second day of a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 21, 2020,   -   Copyright  Ludovic Marin / AFP / POOL
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Latvia is planning to end the country's state of emergency by June 9, Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš told national news outlet LTV on Wednesday.

It's unclear exactly what this will mean but Krišjānis said it would not automatically lead to the lifting of all restrictions.

Riga first eased measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 on May 12.

The Ministry of Health of Latvia reported the first COVID-19 case at the beginning of March.

The state emergency began on March 13 and was due to end on April 14.

Measures to contain the virus spread included halting all international transport via air, rail and land.

The country then extended the emergency to June 9, but on May 12 began lifting some restrictions.

That included allowing gatherings of up to 25 people and opening shopping centres on weekends and public holidays, as well as allowing sports training. Protective face masks must be worn on public transport.

Upon easing lockdown, Krišjānis outlined a "step by step" deconfinement strategy, keeping restrictions "minimal".

On May 15, the country reopened its borders with Baltic neighbours Lithuania and Estonia, allowing the citizens of each country to freely move across the area. Beyond Lithuanians and Estonians, anyone else entered Latvia must still go into quarantine.

So far, Latvia has recorded more than 1,000 cases and registered 21 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.