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Traders agree to a gradual easing of the existing restrictions, Ruta Vainiene, director of the Association of Lithuanian Trade Enterprises, says, adding that those having direct access from the outside and able to restrict their trading space to 2,000 square meters could go first.
Rūta Vainienė
Rūta Vainienė
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

In her words, the requirement of space for one customer could even be double of the one now applied to food trade, i.e., 30 square meters.

"We would agree with 50 square meters as well. Definitely, we can start with tighter safety requirements," Vainiene told BNS on Friday after her meeting with President Gitanas Nauseda. "There's no basis to claim that in shops where we even propose a higher space requirement and where people come less frequently, there's a higher risk of infection than in now operating trade enterprises."

According to Vainiene, a question was also asked during the meeting whether businesses would agree to the easing of restrictions based on specific municipalities where the number of cases is lower. Vainiene said such a path does not seem meaningful for the business sector.

Jolanta Maciuliene, president of the Lithuanian Association of Hairdressers and Beauty Specialists, told BNS after the meeting with the president that Nauseda vowed to decide on the fate of still closes businesses on Monday.

"We hope the decision will favorable and we will be able to resume our work. (…) We said we can provide safe services and work safely," she said.

Nauseda says that as the pandemic situation is changing, a safe balance between epidemiological and social-economic goals is necessary.

On Wednesday, the Lithuanian government decided against letting hairdressers and non-food shops having direct access from the outside to resume operation. Economy and Innovation Minister Ausrine Armonaite believe such businesses could reopen.

BNS
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