Liene Bukbārde, head of Coyote Fly, said that the current restrictions on the distribution of Covid-19 do not work in favor of night clubs. Despite the lifting of the emergency, many companies are barred from working due to time constraints.
“Representatives of our sphere are confused about the justification for this restriction, because we do not see why our activities are stopped, but other potential foci of the virus can continue to work. At the moment, there is a feeling that in theory everyone has a level playing field,
She added that the situation between the Baltic States is also confusing. The head of Coyote Fly said that “the government spoke out loudly that the Baltic states are united and follow each other”, but currently Latvia is the only one of the three countries where all entertainment venues have a working time limit. At the same time, she concluded that the priority for the government is the status “Latvia – a success story”, not the rescue of the entertainment industry.
According to Bukbārde, soon people will be looking for underground entertainment. “This is not just about unpaid taxes, illegally employed people, but also about the general situation that is undermining the entertainment industry in Latvia,” said the head of the club, expressing the opinion that the authorities are aware of these places. “Either they don’t want to or they can’t be punished, because since the beginning of the state of emergency, these places have been working illegally until 6 in the morning,” said the head of the night club.
She pointed out that the reality is harsh, because the whole entertainment industry is on the verge of survival – bankruptcy. According to Bukbārde, it is no secret that there are only about two to three “peak hours” in the entertainment industry, where it is possible to earn money. “And right now we are deprived of the opportunity to earn,” she said.
“We understand the seriousness of the situation and agree with most of the restrictions. At the picket on 15 July, our industry also said honestly that we are not complaining, we just want to work. At the moment, working time restrictions do not allow us to do so. there is a ban on working after 24:00, “stressed Bukbārde.
Aldis Dolgais, a spokesman for Friends Club, said the government had not clearly defined the conditions under which the time limits would be lifted.
According to him, “Friends Club” has not been working since March 13, more than half of the 50 employees have been laid off, all the rest are on unpaid leave. Consequently, the drop in turnover is 100%. “In my opinion, we are carrying out a strategic public order – to protect the public from illness, for which we do not receive payment, but still pay from our own pockets for the rent of the premises,” added the head of the club.
Dolgais said that the duty and basic task of the state as an institution is to protect its citizens. He pointed out that instead the state opens borders so that “infected people can enter it uncontrolled, and the state epidemiological border is ultimately moved and placed around a few companies – bars, clubs”.