Economics Ministry to propose opening more stores

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The Ministry of Economics (EM) will push forward a proposal to allow the sales of seed and plants, as well as books, which are currently not available for purchase in person, EM State Secretary Edmunds Valantis told Latvian Television February 1.

According to him, the EM has so far worked on a variety of models for opening shops and resuming work in a more normal mode. However, there needs to be an effective mechanism to make retail safe.

It is clear that all shops cannot be opened at this time due to the epidemiological situation, but certain types of shops could market all the goods they sell without restrictions. These could be grocery stores, hygiene product stores, and bookstores, Valantis said.

He said it was planned to keep lists of goods already authorized, but those lists could be extended by allowing sales of seedlings, seed etc. This means that work could also be resumed by specialized shops that sell plants and seeds.

On February 2, Economics Minister Jānis Vitenbergs told Latvian Radio that all stores might be allowed to open, regardless of size. He also wants to allow outdoor markets and fairs to take place.

Government is planning to debate any possible changes Tuesday as pressure grows from retailers and consumers for more in-person shopping opportunities.

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