RIGA - The Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is calling for lifting of the harsh restrictions introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19 in Latvia as soon as possible, enabling all national economy sectors to operate normally and the national economy to recover, LCCI told LETA.
In the opinion of LCCI, extending the restrictions would pose a threat to economic recovery and Latvia's competitiveness.
Several countries, including Lithuania and Estonia, have already eased their Covid-19 restrictions, enabling resumption of operations in sectors that were shut down for two years, LCCI representatives told LETA.
Therefore LCCI wants Covid-19 certificates and mandatory vaccination of employees to be scrapped in Latvia. The organization believes that all companies should themselves monitor employees and customers' compliance with epidemiological safety requirements.
If the restrictions are not lifted as soon as possible, the economic recovery and Latvia's competitiveness will be seriously endangered - employees and buyers of goods and services are moving to neighboring countries, causing losses to Latvian businesses and a gap in economic growth among the Baltic countries.
Commenting on the current situation, LCCI President Aigars Rostovskis points out that it is time to scrap all administrative regulations for stemming to the spread of the virus and to make security measures recommendatory, allowing companies to act themselves in order to limit the spread of the virus. "We can no longer afford slowing the Latvian economy down and continuing to borrow money, we must return to normal life as soon as possible," says Rostovsky.
As reported, Health Minister Daniels Pavluts (Development/For) has called on the government coalition to agree on a plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions in three stages, LETA was told at the Health Ministry.
The plan includes allowing currently suspended businesses to restart operations and scrapping Covid-19 certificates in shopping centers from March 1.
In Pavluts' view, the omicron wave of the Covid-19 pandemic should be dealt with safely and responsibly, taking simple measures that would be easily understandable to everyone. The minister is therefore calling on coalition partners to agree on a plan for a phased easing of the current security measures in three main stages.
"At the same time, the government must bear in mind that the situation in healthcare is still very complicated and a drop in Covid-19 incidence is expected only in the second half of February," Pavluts said.