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Beauty industry demands either permission to work or higher aid

The beauty sector calls for either resumption of activity or rise of minimum aid from €500 to €1,200, said Sabīne Ulberte, president of the Latvian Association of Beauticians, at a press conference February 15.

The beauty sector has been banned from working for several months. The sector calls on the government to acknowledge that the ban on working for the beauty sector has been hasty and has not reduced the incidence of Covid-19 in Latvia. Therefore, the whole sector should be allowed to work within the epidemiological constraints.

The president of the Association of Beauticians, Sabīne Ulberte, offers two possible courses of action to the government:

"We believe that the whole sector should be allowed to work within strict epidemiological constraints that the sector already developed in March and supplemented in November. However, if Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš considers that only a few specialists in the sector should be allowed to work, then the other specialists in the sector should immediately receive downtime benefit of EUR 1,200 in order to allow people to provide for their basic needs."

So far, 4,026 applications for benefits have been received by the State Revenue Service and more than EUR 2 million has been paid. However, according to the association, 90% of the benefits paid are only €500, as well as €50 for each dependent child, which is too low in the long-term.

“The basic needs of every person in our country to have a dignified life are food, housing, transport, education. Well, it is clear to all of us in the country that this is a minimum of €500 per family member,” Ulberte said.

The Ministry of Economics will present a plan to resume activity of the sector. “This is, for example, the provision of the service only after recording, taking into account sanitary breaks between customers, increased ventilation, the use of personal protective equipment,” said Jurģis Miezainis (“KPV LV”), parliamentary secretary of the Ministry of Economics, in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

However, infectologist Uga Dumpis has said that these ideas are currently impossible. He referred to the 'traffic lights' principle, introduced in Latvia and many other countries, which sets out to reduce restrictions in Latvia when Covid-19 spread is about 2.5 times less than it is currently.

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