In order to ensure a level playing field in the industry, shopping centers call for a level playing field for all outlets that are able to provide an epidemiologically safe indoor environment through adequate mechanical ventilation.
The NAA emphasizes that air quality is one of the most important factors influencing the spread of the virus indoors, according to the World Health Organization, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the UK Environmental and Modeling Group.
All major shopping centers in Latvia are equipped with powerful air ventilation systems, which ensure complete exchange of all air even within 20 minutes. So up to three times an hour, all the air in the mall changes, ensuring that with each flow of customers, most potential virus particles are removed from the building. As a result, very low CO2 levels are maintained in commercial premises through ventilation – an average of 395 to 660 parts per million (ppm).
Meanwhile, Liene Dupate-Ugule, communication manager of retailer SIA Maxima Latvija, told LETA that the introduction of restrictions such as those in Lithuania would create a significant number of unvaccinated people gathering in smaller format stores, as well as shortage of goods. necessities for a large part of society.
“Such regulation can be particularly severe for the most vulnerable, including seniors with reduced mobility. Restricting access to food and medicine in larger stores can put seniors at even greater risk by getting colder and queuing outside a store with large numbers of unvaccinated people. , additional health risks are created for vaccinated seniors, thus further straining the health system, “said Dupate-Ugule.
In the opinion of Maxima Latvija, at least basic necessities – food and medicines – as well as services must be available to all residents of Latvia, regardless of the size of the store.
Dupate-Ugule emphasized that in Latvia such restrictions would particularly severely affect regional shopping centers and small businesses outside Riga, which are located in these sales locations.
NĪAA unites the most important participants of the industry in order to achieve sustainable growth of the real estate industry, to represent it together at the state and local government level, as well as to actualize the role of real estate developers and investors in the Latvian economy.
On September 13, new restrictions came into force in Lithuania for people who do not have a so-called opportunity passport, a document certifying that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19, has contracted the disease or received a negative test result in the last 48 hours.
Without an “opportunity passport” it is allowed to shop only in small shops of daily necessities with a separate entrance from the outside, if their sales area does not exceed 1,500 square meters.