The Competition Council (the CC) supports the need to introduce measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, at the same time, the CC calls on the Cabinet of Ministers, when deciding on restrictions in the retail sector, it is important to introduce such rules that would be equal for all market participants, at the same time would not promote the economic downturn and create negative consequences for competition in the long run.

To reduce the risks of an economic downturn in the retail and related retail space rental sector and provide people with the opportunity to purchase the goods they need in person at points of sale, the CC calls on the Cabinet of Ministers when deciding on setting restrictions. The CC asks the Cabinet of Ministers to prioritize the restrictions related to determining the total number of visitors at points of sale and area per visitor and control of visitors' gathering and distance at points of sale, thus ensuring as little contact between citizens as possible.

The existence of a level playing field for all businesses in the sector is an important factor in the development of healthy competition. Thus, the CC calls to assess the possibility, taking into account the epidemiological situation, not to introduce restrictions that would allow sales only of certain groups of goods, divide outlets into primary and secondary outlets, or group them by area, location inside or outside the shopping centre, or other such criteria.

Juris Gaiķis, the Chairman of the CC: “Restrictions, if any, must be as equal as possible for any market participant, regardless of the point of sale chosen, the category of goods traded, the area of the shopping centre and other factors, in order to ensure as far as possible epidemiological requirements.”