RIGA - The Latvian Association of Bars has dual feelings about the government's decision to allow bars and entertainment establishments to work on New Year's Eve, said the association's board member and Cuba Cafe co-owner Arnis Biksus.
On the one hand, this is positive news, on the other hand there are concerns about rapid spread of the new Covid-19 omicron variant.
"Sometimes it seems that the Cabinet of Ministers lives on another planet. Of course, it is a joy that something will be opened, but still, Germany, for example, has decided to close night clubs on New Year's Eve," said Biksus.
Biksus said that one night will not bring significant benefits to the bars because they have to pay double to employees for work on holidays and also the performing artists will ask higher fees. The bars will have to comply with other epidemiological regulations, including the number of allowed people in the room.
He said thought that he would not be surprised if the government reversed the decision and, for example, announced on December 29 that bars should be closed on New Year's Eve due to the steep spread of omicron.
The Economics Ministry informed LETA that some of the entertainment establishments, such as night clubs, still will be closed. In others, epidemiological safety regulations will be in force, meaning that customers will not be allowed to dance.
As reported, the government decided on Tuesday that on New Year's Eve, Latvia will not apply working hour restrictions on service provision and organization of events, meaning that bars, restaurants and other culture and entertainment establishments will be allowed to work also from 23:00 until 6:00.
Also, in line with the amendments adopted by the government, stores in shopping centers again will be allowed to work at weekends and on holidays. The amendments will come into force as of Friday, December 24.