Stores eagerly await their first vacation with new Covid-19 restrictions / Article /

By mobilizing employees, counting shopping baskets, separating or removing items that cannot be bought, the stores are preparing for the new government-imposed restrictions on holidays and holidays.


  • Food (excluding alcohol), hygiene products and fuel may be sold on weekends.
  • The list of goods that cannot be traded is changing.
  • Traders are confused and the holidays await with concern.
  • Head of Merchants Association: Dissatisfied shoppers can even be enthusiastic.
  • The regional retail chain “Top” is ready for the weekend.
  • When possible, unauthorized goods, instructed by the “Top” sellers, are removed from the shelves.
  • Rimi covers goods that are not bought with a covering material.
  • Maxima restricts buyers’ access to goods they are not allowed to buy.
  • There is already a greater influx of people into the stores.
  • Stores fear people will rush to buy everything before the holidays.

The government ruled on Tuesday that only food, hygiene products and fuel may be purchased on weekends and holidays. Also works in pharmacies, also veterinary. The list of goods not allowed to be sold on weekends has been updated several times. This creates confusion and anxiety among traders. Meanwhile, there are companies that are still wondering whether it is worthwhile to work on vacation.

Stores are looking forward to the first holiday with the new Covid-19 restrictionsLinda Spundiņa

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has published a list of hygiene products on its website, stating which products are for sale on public holidays. The goods list is changed several times. In turn, traders do not fully understand what can and cannot be sold, said Henrik Danusevics, president of the Latvian Traders Association.

“Now, after work, people have to run to the store, it poses an unreasonable burden on merchants and people, as well as nervousness,” Danusevics said.

Danusevich believes that the government should take decisions more quickly and clearly justify them, as traders are currently worried that buyers will understand the restrictions. Small retailers are particularly concerned, as people can often become very nervous when they are unable to purchase a particular product, and Danusevics even allowed for the possibility that problems could arise in stores, shelves would be knocked over and glass would break.

The most popular retail chain “Top” in the regions is now ready for the weekend. Ilze Priedīte, board member of “Top”, said that the salespeople have already been instructed and are willing to call in the municipal police for assistance if necessary, as experience so far shows that people perceive the identified epidemiological limitations differently.

Priedite said the requirement to not serve customers without face masks was already a big test, as there were also aggressive buyers and even the threat of retaliation with the seller if she didn’t serve the customer without a mask.

“Top” plans to take those goods off the shelves in small stores that cannot be sold on holidays, but where possible product areas will be delineated.

Large retail chains are also actively preparing for the holiday. Rimi will cover the goods that should not be covered with any covering material and will repeatedly notify customers of in-store restrictions.

Meanwhile, Maxima restricts customers’ access to goods that they are not allowed to buy, nor will it be possible to scan these goods in the system, and therefore also to buy them. Currently, “Maksima” has already implemented 40 security measures in the store, its representative Liene Dupate-Ugule revealed.

She admitted that the holiday shops are still waiting with some concern as there may be misunderstandings, but Maksima provides guidelines on how to deal with these situations and also mobilizes security guards.

Meanwhile, a greater influx of people in stores has already been observed, all representatives note. On Fridays, shops fear that people will rush to buy all the necessary goods for the holidays.


To reduce congestion at indoor and outdoor outlets, sales of goods in stores, gas stations, markets, and street sales are limited on weekends and holidays.

On the other hand, distance selling and e-commerce are not limited – the purchase of goods with a distance contract, delivery to homes and parcel terminals, as well as the issue and receipt of goods in stores will also be allowed on weekends and holidays. .

Only the following are available on weekends and holidays:

  • pharmacies (including veterinary pharmacies);
  • and stores where the following groups of goods may be marketed:
    foods (except alcohol),
    hygiene products,

A list of hygiene products that may be traded is published on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Answers to frequently asked questions from traders are also published here.

To one visitor must have no less than 15 m2 of public space, so that the point of sale does not exceed 20% of the maximum possible number of people allowed by the infrastructure of the specific place. If the area of ​​the place of economic services is less than 25 m2, one visitor may be present at a time.

The predetermined security measures at points of sale are also still in force, including in street trade and trade in the open market area:

  • the use of mouth and nose pads for shop and market visitors and staff,
  • Observe a distance of 2 meters,
  • inform visitors about precautions,
  • increased hygiene,
  • monitoring the health status of employees.

During the outbreak of Covid-19 in the spring, an emergency was declared in Latvia to combat the new corona virus. The situation was stable in the summer, but the incidence increased sharply at the end of September. The government restored a state of emergency, with tighter restrictions. Despite this, the incidence of Covid-19 continued to increase.

On December 1, the government decided to extend the state of emergency until January 11. The restrictions are just as strict as in the spring the “2 + 2” principle must be observed. This means that only two people from different households can meet, within two meters.

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