The requirement for certificates in shopping centres must be cancelled immediately, otherwise compensations must be granted

Recent Government announcements indicate that in Latvia, the requirement to present vaccination certificates for entry into shopping centres could be lifted from 1 March. However, there is a lack of epidemiological justification for this wait, and while the Government is hesitant, shopping centres continue to lose around 2 million euros a month. Meanwhile, the unvaccinated part of Latvian society is actively spending their income in neighbouring countries where trade restrictions have been lifted. In order to stop inequality and allow Latvian entrepreneurs to resume full-fledged operations, shopping centres are inviting the Government to immediately cancel the requirement to present certificates for access to their premises.
The latest data from the National Health Service indicate that a total of 68.7% of people in the country have completed vaccination - so a third of the population still cannot enter the public places in the “green” zone, including shopping centres. Due to restrictions, these people are often forced to crowd into smaller shops in the “red” zone, so many choose to shop in neighbouring countries, to the detriment of the national economy and also to local businesses, which have been suffering since the pandemic began. At present, shopping centres lose around 2 million euros a month due to lost customers, for which state aid is no longer granted; therefore, an unjustified wait until 1 March to lift restrictions is not acceptable to the industry. If the requirement to present the certificates is not lifted immediately, shopping centres consider that the Government should decide on the introduction of compensation to cover the losses incurred by operators.
“While we see how entrepreneurs in neighbouring countries are being given the opportunity to resume normal operations and start recovering from economic difficulties, the lifting of restrictions in Latvia is still under discussion. Vaccination certificates as a means of dividing the population have become obsolete since the new Covid-19 virus became more widespread, and having the requirement for certificates as an advantage, for example, to access shopping centres, in order to maintain the pace of vaccination is unacceptable; it must be achieved using other means without putting this responsibility on the shoulders of private entrepreneurs. Now that it has become clear that experts’ forecasts of potential overload in the health system have been incorrect, shopping centres are urging the Government not to hesitate to lift restrictions that are not in line with the current epidemiological situation,” emphasizes Mārtiņš Vanags, Chairman of the Board of the Real Estate Developers Alliance (NĪAA).
About NĪAA
The Alliance of Real Estate Developers (NĪAA) brings together the most significant players in the industry in order to achieve the sustainable development of the real estate industry, represent it in a collective manner at the state and local government level, as well as emphasise the role of real estate developers and investors within the economy of Latvia.
For further information:
Mārtiņš VanagsAlliance of Real Estate Developers (NĪAA)