Musicians plead for lifting of Covid restrictions

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A group of musicians, producers, event organizers and providers of event technical services have appealed to the Latvian cabinet to follow the example of neighboring countries and lift restrictions relating to Covid-19 and public gatherings, reports LSM's Latvian language service.

Gints Putniņš, head of the L Tips Agency said in a statement to media and an open letter that the restrictions related to the provision of services in the public environment have hit the sector hard.

"Of course, we understand and respect the health of the whole society, we also understand the processes related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the world, but we do not understand why all decisions in Latvia are made late, and they are not changed by the day, but by the hour, while entrepreneurs who run public events, musicians, and other creative people sometimes don’t even have time to adapt, let alone plan for the long term.”

"We call for a clear and concrete response to the government's further action to lift the current restrictions. In the industry we all represent, economic activity has virtually stopped, so we can no longer afford to wait for solutions that are characterized by the phrase 'Let's assess the current situation, then decide'," Putniņš said.

Putniņš noted that the industry is currently unaware of what restrictions that will apply after the end of the state of emergency on February 28. He was supported by Normunds Eilands, a representative of technical support companies in the industry, and Aldis Janēvics, the head of the NA Company, who said "We simply cannot do this thing one day and another the next day. It is vital for the industry to function, to earn and to pay taxes into the state budget."

The popular musician Don said: "We are simply calling for the lifting of all restrictions from 1 March. And not because that is what we ourselves want, but because we want a level playing field with other European Union countries. And, of course, our neighbors.”

When the incidence  of Covid-19 in Latvia reached its highest level in the autumn of 2021, the government declared a state of emergency until January 11. This was later extended until the end of February. The government is due to discuss the possible easing or lifting of restrictions this week, though Latvia's Covid-19 infection rate is currently at a record level.

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