Tourism and hospitality sectors push for lifting of restrictions

The tourism and hospitality sector in Latvia is negatively affected by the requirement to recognize only the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, while Estonia abides by the World Health Organization’s guidelines, which are more extensive, so their figures do not fall in the field of tourism, said Līga Menģelsone, director-general of the Latvian Employers’ Confederation (LDDK). Therefore, one of the requests of the LDDK Committee on the Tourism Crisis is to remove this requirement.

The issue of a certain number of square meters per visitor to shops should also not be delayed, as industries and employees have done everything the government required, for example, the vaccination coverage among employees is 96%. The many restrictions have caused a ‘very high level of fatigue’, said Meņģelsone.

Gints Putniņš, head of the concert agency L Tips Agency, agreed that the very different and severe restrictions are stifling business in difference from Lithuania and Estonia. He stressed that such unreasonable government policies may have long-term consequences. In Lithuania there have not been major obstacles to organizing events since the autumn of last year, but in Estonia the last restrictions would be lifted soon. In Latvia, concert visitors are gradually getting used to the fact that nothing is happening.

“Every month we drag time and don’t give people a clear signal that there will be no restrictions, we are distancing ourselves from this time when people will start to get used to action again,” said Gints Putniņš.

Many of the restrictions have led to the fact that events are not cost-effective in Latvia and do not have economic justification.  According to Gints Putniņš, we are one step from the fact that Latvia will no longer have the technical equipment needed for large concerts – sound, light and stage equipment. Many employees have left Latvia to work elsewhere.

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