Business leader: Economic activity needs to restart quickly

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In Latvia, the use of Covid-19 certificates, as well as the division of trade premises into "green" and "red" regimes should be swiftly left in the past, according to Aigars Rostovskis, president of the influential business lobby the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK).

Speaking in an interview with Latvian Radio February 2, Rostovskis said Latvia should coordinate the lifting of restrictions with neighboring countries, and that this should be done quickly, otherwise Latvia will suffer a further economic blow in comparison with those countries and might also see workers leaving the country for more economically active destinations. 

"The labor problem was critical even before the pandemic, now it has become extremely acute," said the president of the LTRK, while acknowledging that some restrictions on assembly would probably need to be maintained.

According to him, the primary things that "should be left behind" are Covid-19 certificates and the division into "green" and "red" modes.

He noted that the widespread prevalence of the omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is not yet leading to major labor shortages. It is a problem, but it is manageable, Rostovskis said, stressing that a much bigger problem for companies now is the steep rise in energy prices.

As previously reported by LSM, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia plans to decide on the exit strategy of Covid-19 security measures this month. The matter is likely to be discussed at the next coalition meeting on Monday, February 7 and then at the cabinet meeting the following day.

Though the omicron variant has brought a large rise in the number of Covid-19 infections recently, the number of people requiring hospitalization as a result of contracting Covid has remained relative stable, raising hopes that it might be possible to start returning to something approaching normal economic activity in the near future.

The Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the biggest association of entrepreneurs in Latvia uniting 6,000 members from small to large enterprises in all regions and industries.

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