Entrepreneurs call for Covid-19 restrictions, vaccine certificates to be scrapped - Economics Ministry

  • 2022-02-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Economics Minister Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) during a meeting with entrepreneurs and representatives of their organizations on Monday received a "mandate" to push ahead with demands for scrapping Covid-19 restrictions and vaccine certificates, LETA was told at the Economics Ministry. 

The Economic Council, which held an extraordinary meeting on Monday, discussed with the entrepreneurs a draft strategy proposed by the Economics Ministry for Latvia's exit from the Covid-19 emergency. The council heard the entrepreneurs' proposals for lifting the restrictions introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The economics minister will present the entrepreneurs' opinions and proposals at the government coalition's weekly meeting on Monday. 

"Until now, the spread of Covid-19 has been managed by the method of restrictions. However, a number of European countries and our neighbor countries Estonia and Lithuania in particular, are lifting most their restrictions, which means that our businesses are losing competitiveness as a result. Entrepreneurs say that their operations are adversely affected not only by significantly different rules in the neighbor countries but also constant unpredictability and uncertainty," Vitenbergs said. 

According to the Economics Ministry's proposals, restrictions on working hours, floor space requirements and several other regulations for retailers and services providers should be lifted from March 1. The Economics Ministry proposes allowing businesses to evaluate their risks and choosing necessary safety measures. 

The Economics Ministry proposes introducing horizontal epidemiological safety principles for all sectors of the economy, letting all businesses, including services providers and event organizers whose operations are currently suspended, to resume operations and join the common Baltic bubble without overregulation. 

The ministry's proposals also include dropping the regulation on Covid-19 certificates, which currently are necessary for on-site work, receiving and providing services and entering  large shopping centers. "The certificate requirement should be left in place at organized or private gatherings of more than 1,000 persons and public events attended by more than 1,000 persons. As for on-site work, the decision might be left to employers," the Economics Ministry said.