Malls should be allowed to open on weekends, says Economics Minister

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Minister of Economics Jānis Vitenbergs has proposed to allow malls to work on weekends and holidays under certain conditions, according to the Ministry's statement November 30.

The EM statement indicates that, at a time when the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Latvia has reached new records, Vitenbergs asked to review the regulations in place in the retail sector. Instead of closing large malls on weekends and holidays, the Minister asked to provide measures aimed at reducing the mobility of people in stores, distributing the flow of visitors evenly and strictly controlling distance requirements.

Thus, the risks of the spread of COVID-19 infection at stores and other retail locations could be reduced.

“By reviewing and setting a reduced maximum number of visitors to the location, while allowing all shops in the malls to work on holiday and weekends, we will have a better effect on splitting customer flows and meeting the requirements of distance, as well as reducing the risks of COVID-19 spread,” the minister said in the statement.

The Ministry offers that, for example, the existing 10 square meters per person could be increased to 15. The intention has also been discussed with commerce operators, who have confirmed that they will be able to ensure and control the flow of people in shops.

At the same time, the Minister of Economics called on the residents of Latvia to act responsibly and to comply with the precautions imposed by the government, to seriously consider whether visiting the store is necessary, to comply with two meter distance and to use face masks.

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