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Chambers of Commerce: Economies should be kept open despite of the Covid-19 situation

Estonian Chamber of Commerce, Finland Chamber of Commerce, Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and The Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Crafts have sent a common letter to the Prime Ministers in their home countries on the 1st September 2020.

The Chambers drew the Prime Ministers’ attention to main areas where Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland could further co-operate to help their economies and entrepreneurs in the current situation.

Economies should be kept open by minimizing the risks associated with COVID-19 to avoid the consequences of a complete shutdown of economies and society. Health of public and workers should be taken care of at the same time.

According to the Chambers there is an urgent need for constant and timely coordination between relevant authorities and governments to ensure a common regional approach to travel and coordination of other restrictions for high-risk countries or regions. The Chambers also state that all new restrictions that need to be enforced should be shared in advance in a timely manner, but not less than 2 weeks before

The Chambers emphasize the importance of allowing free or with minimal interference cross-border movement of the workforce, different professionals, and experts between countries. 

The Chambers highlight that common safeguards, testing systems, risk assessments, and rules are of paramount importance for our region´s economies and societies to stay together throughout the crisis. For example, common “traffic light system” would create consistent procedures and ease the cross-borders interactions.

To minimize the economic and social impact, the countries need to work together to avoid any unnecessary quarantines and other measures not only between our 4 nations but from other EU-member states as well if possible. For example, similar testing practices could be done only once entering the region to avoid unnecessary costs and time spent.