Despite the fact that the government has yet to approve the decision to lift restrictions on trade in Latvia, it is already clear that small shops will be allowed to operate. And now, after beauty and trade, culture decided to defend its right to restoration
RIGA, 23 Feb – Sputnik, Dmitry Oleinikov. Today the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted several decisions aimed at liberalizing restrictive measures in trade and services in Latvia. In particular, shops and hairdressing salons with a limited range of services are expected to open from March 1.
Although the decisions made by the government at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday are of a so-called “conceptual” nature, that is, they will be clarified at the government meeting on Thursday, February 25, it is already obvious that from March 1, the range of stores that will be allowed to work. In addition, so-called “assortment restrictions” will be lifted – that is, stores that meet the criteria will be able to sell all of their products.
Stores will earn
Talking about criteria. According to the proposal of the Ministry of Economy, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, from 1 March it will be allowed to operate shops with a separate entrance and a retail space of up to 300 square meters. The sale of all goods will be allowed in these outlets. For the most part, these stores are located outside Riga.
The health ministry objected to the opening of stores, considering easing trade restrictions a premature decision. However, the initiative of the Ministry of Economy was supported by other ministers, and, ultimately, Minister of Health Daniel Pavluts admitted that the government-backed decision was the least risky of the other options for opening stores prepared by the Ministry of Economy.
Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins also expressed concern that the restrictions would be lifted too quickly, without taking into account the epidemiological situation in Latvia.
According to the figures announced by Henrik Danusevich, President of the Latvian Merchants Association, in this way, 2000-3000 stores will be able to return to work in Latvia, where 4000 to 7000 workers are employed.
According to the Ministry of Economy, a total of 12,723 enterprises worked in the retail sector, employing more than 87,000 people. Currently, the industry receives 20% of the total government-allocated support to the national economy in connection with COVID-19. On average, the government spends 26 million euros monthly to support industries, which is allocated for benefits and grants to enterprises.
Allowed to work for beauty salons
Another decision, the adoption of which was announced in advance – from March 1, finally, hairdressers, manicurists, pedicurists and long hours will be able to serve clients at their workplaces. Other beauty services are still banned.
Hairdressers and beauty salons, which will resume work on March 1, will be required to comply with a number of additional security measures.
Enterprises will have to inform the Health Inspectorate about the start of work. Before the appointment, the salon will be responsible for measuring the client’s temperature, checking for possible symptoms of acute respiratory diseases, and, if any, the salon will be obliged to refuse the client to provide services.
The hairdresser will be able to work using disposable gloves and a special respirator, in turn, the client is required to wear a mask while in the salon. According to the requirements approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, in halls with an area of more than 25 square meters, several customers can be located if the distance between the chairs is more than 2 meters, however, in small salons with an area of up to 25 square meters, only one customer is allowed to serve at a time.
It follows from the rules that customers will be able to enter the salon only one at a time (with the exception of children under 12 years old, who may be accompanied by adults). Masters must observe a 20-minute break between receiving clients.
What about culture?
Liberalization ideas are increasingly felt in the government. Thus, Minister of Culture Nauris Puntulis said that next week he intends to raise the issue of easing restrictions on cultural enterprises.
Since November, the work of this industry has completely stopped. As the minister noted, if rules for safe work have been developed for one industry, then they can be applied in other industries. In addition, he said, “unlike the trade, there is accurate and proven evidence that culture is not conducive to the spread of disease.”
Proposals on the format and how the cultural enterprises will be able to resume work will be developed by the Ministry of Culture and submitted to the government next week.