Covid-19, Employment, Latvia, Legislation, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 21.05.2022, 06:51

Around 40% of employees working in bars could lose jobs due to new restrictions in Latvia

BC, Riga, 16.10.2020.Print version
The new Covid-19 restrictions introduced in Latvia this week might cause around 40 percent of employees working bars to lose their jobs, Oskars Ikstens, a representative of the Latvian association of bars, told LETA.

"The bar industry is already on a very narrow and rocky path, and yet another inconsiderate government decision will push it into an abyss, with only those who are able to operate illegally likely to survive, Ikstens said, comparing the the situation with that of a prohibition law.

The representative of the association said that it is possible to ensure a controlled environment in bars, regulate the number of customers and introduce other safety measures. "If people can gather in supermarkets and up to 30 people are allowed to attend small indoor events - let bars too operate on similar conditions," Ikstens said.

The member of association indicated that this year, the total turnover of Latvia's bars this year has contracted by 50% from 2019. "The government's decision to allow bars to only stay open until midnight will cause the industry to go bust, because there are no offers of any compensations and support mechanisms. Even according to the most optimistic forecasts, 40 percent of employees will lose jobs," the association's representative said.

According to the association's data, there were around 900 companies operating bars in Latvia before the Covid-19 crisis. Since then, their number has decreased and is going to drop further if there is support from the government.

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