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Latvian beauty and sports industries ask for permission to work

The beauty and sports industries are calling on the government to allow them to work in a safe way, since several months of downtime has a negative impact on both public health and contributes to the boom of the shadow economy, Latvian Radio reported May 24.

Representatives of the beauty and sports industry said that they have already tapped the doors of all ministries and various state institutions, but a government decision that would allow them to work has not followed.

“We're trapped in a vicious cycle, because we're sent from one institution to another. The strange thing is that we have received support, but neither the Ministry of Health nor the Cabinet shall take these recommendations into account,” said Renāte Reinsone, president of the Latvian Beauticians and Cosmetologists Association.

Sabine Ulberte, president of the Latvian Association of Beauty Specialists, acknowledged that faith in the Cabinet has been lost and they only hope for an emergency decision by the Saeima.

Asked whether there are any pickets or protests planned, namely whether the beauty and sports sector should take to the streets, Ulberte said: “Yes, we have considered the following issues and options, but I would like to emphasize, as a representative of the sector and a qualified professional, that these are purely emotions and that there should be legitimate and reasonable decisions. (..) The government needs to understand that the sports and beauty industry cannot work on the street, remotely, via Zoom because it is people's contact.”

In neighboring countries Lithuania and Estonia, as well as elsewhere in Europe, the beauty and sports sectors are already operating at full capacity, but in Latvia, the epidemiological requirements in relation to these areas are greatly exaggerated, said Gints Kuzņecovs, board member of the Latvian Health and Fitness Association (LVFA).

“Actually, the government is chasing the sector into the gray area. What we see, that not our association members but small, regional sports clubs probably operate behind sealed windows and no one controls the epidemiological situation there. We have developed a security memorandum and we have demonstrated it during the previous period. There have been no outbreaks. A huge European study has been carried out, gathering information on 15 countries, and confirming that there are very few cases of infection in a sports center, observing the safety protocol,” Kuzņecovs said.

The representatives of both sectors said that the situation in these sectors is critical and that immediate government decisions are needed.

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