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New retail rules in Latvia starting Monday

On Friday, February 5, Latvian government decided that the retail sector would be subject to different rules, allowing a broader variety of goods to be sold.

Since December 17, only goods deemed essential were allowed to be sold and purchased on-site, leading many shops to temporarily close or move online, while other stores had to cordon off certain goods which were not allowed. From the get-go, this decision led to dissatisfaction both by customers and sellers.

Economics Ministry decided that starting Monday, February 8, a 'safe trade' model would be in place, meaning that more goods could be sold while stricter safety rules would be enforced regarding the flow of customers.

Starting Monday, stores whose range of goods consists of at least 70% food items and stores whose range of goods consists of at least 70% hygiene products, may sell their entire range of goods on-site and do not have to cordon off certain aisles.

As of Monday, bookstores may open and sell their entire range of goods.

Pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, pet stores, optical shops, gas stations will resume selling the entire range of goods as before.

Regarding items which do not fall into the categories mentioned above, a few other items will be allowed for sale on-site, namely:

  • seeds, seedlings, tubers, bulbs, sprouts;
  • substrate, fertilizers, liming materials, plant protection items;
  • electronic accessories (cords, chargers,  extensions);
  • agents for disinsectization and deratization.

 These items come in addition to everything currently available for purchase, namely: 

  • groceries;
  • hygiene goods (list of goods);
  • essential household goods (list of goods);
  • mobile phone prepaid cards;
  • tobacco products, herbal smoking products, electronic smoking devices and their liquids;
  • animal feed and goods;
  • press publications;
  • public transport tickets;
  • mouth and nose coverings and individual protective equipment;
  • artisanal agricultural products;
  • flowers.

The restrictions also apply to street trade and trade in closed and open market areas. The organization of fairs (or organizing of street trade) is completely prohibited.

Distance selling and e-commerce continue to operate without restrictions.

Wholesale of any goods which are necessary for both retail stores and the operation of companies, production, etc. is not interrupted. At the same time, it is allowed to provide the goods necessary for services (for example, the provision of car parts in a car repair shop).

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Economy
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