Latvian government permits Christmas markets

On Thursday, 25 November, the Operational Management Group (OVG) reached a conceptual agreement to permit Christmas markets in spite of Covid-19 pandemic in Latvia, as confirmed by the Ministry of Economics.
Although discussions between the Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Health continue on this topic, it is clear Christmas markets will be allowed to work at least in the ‘green regime’. Stall owners will need to maintain a 3 m distance from one another and the total market area will need to be fenced off, as the ministry explains.
The ministry will not regulate the maximum permitted number of stalls – this decision will be left to municipal administrations. According to this conceptual agreement, Christmas markets will be allowed to sell food products and beverages.
In future discussions the ministry will try to ensure Christmas markets are allowed to operate in the «red regime» as well.
CEO of SIA Vecrīgas Ziemassvētku tirdziņš Ingūna Vucena told TV3 News that even if the government permits Christmas markets, this decision may be too late, because preparing for the winter solstice takes a lot of time for traders.
Organisers of Dome Square and Esplanāde Christmas markets are already concerned that some of the usual participants may have already departed for other countries, where street vending is permitted.
As previously reported, the current regulations state that street vending, Christmas markets included, is prohibited until 11 January 2022.