Retail rules might still be 'reversed', says PM Kariņš

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It is possible that the government will have to 'reverse' the new, more liberal rules on  retail, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told Latvian Television  February 24.

On Tuesday, the Latvian government conceptually agreed that small stores will be able to resume operations from March 1, subject to agreement on epidemiological measures that will need to be in place.

As the spread of Covid-19 is still high in Latvia and epidemiologists are warning about the prevalence of a new, more contagious type of Covid-19, it is not excluded that the government will have to 'reverse' and close shops again after opening the small stores, Kariņš said. 

The Prime Minister said that epidemiologists had suggested that rules should not be relaxed in a hurry, given that starting March 1 some beauty services will also be  allowed to resume work.

However, the majority of the government is inclined to support the opening of small shops immediately, as from next week.

Kariņš said discussions in the government will continue Thursday. The question is more about the pace at which Latvia is moving towards easing restrictions.

Asked who would take responsibility if the situation with the Covid-19 spread deteriorated after opening smaller stores, the Prime Minister said this was a matter that he had 'called on his colleagues in the government to consider'.

Kariņš said that he would not want to get into the situation that stores would have to be closed again shortly after opening.

“I don't want to reverse,” said Kariņš. “So this discussion will continue. It's not easy, but it will continue.”

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