The Latvian government has postponed the decision to open small stores on 25 February. The Cabinet of Ministers will decide on the resumption of the shops, most likely next week.
In Latvia, there are 8,800 such stores with an area of up to 300 square meters, with a total of about 16,400 employees.
“The issue of opening small shops was removed from the government’s agenda today so that the Ministry of Health, together with the Inter-Institutional Coordination Steering Group, could develop concrete, clear, comprehensible and business-predictable criteria for economic operators to resume safe operation of Covid-19,” said Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs said.
Some stores have adapted to the circumstances and moved to the Internet or used remote trading methods.
“We’ve been looking forward to this decision very much… we have all practiced and practiced to meet the requirements, and this has become everyday. Wearing a mask, washing and disinfecting hands and surfaces. Just keeping the correct distance has already become a habit. I think there would be no problem observing this,” said Jana Lindberga, chief executive of BonBon Shoes.
“We have never had crowds in the shop and we believe that small shops will now be significantly less crowded than food and gardening shops. In our view, it is very easy to control the flow of people. The rooms are small, we can let people in, if needed. We just want to work,” said kids’ clothing store manager Toms Lange.
“On February 24 Latvian President Egils Levits warned the government that any premature relaxation of anti-Covid measures would have serious consequences both for society as a whole and for ministers themselves” – reported by LSM.LV