The solution we have created for the quick Covid certificate scanning in Lithuania has also been applied in Latvia, in Riga “Akropole”. In Latvia, the flow of visitors to major supermarkets has also been limited since October 11. In the event of a state of emergency, only residents with valid Covid certificates can enter non-essential goods stores.
In Lithuania, such a restriction came into force a month earlier – from September 13, when all stores and larger shopping malls of more than 1,500 square meters can be accessed only with a National Covid certificate or another relevant document. All this time, the solution developed by the Lithuanian company is used in 50 Maxima stores throughout Lithuania and allows to scan certificates with a specialized handheld computer with a barcode scanner extremely quickly.
“In Latvia, we have applied the technological solution already tested in Lithuania, all we had to do was adapt the app according to Latvian requirements. The main difference is that our neighbors do not have a separate Latvian National Covid certificate as we do in Lithuania, they have simply adapted the procedure by checking the European Union’s digital Covid certificate,” says Vitalijus Garbauskas, the CEO of trade, logistics and production systems development company “Raso”.
The fact that the app had already been developed and the “Honeywell” mobile computer was adapted allowed the solution to be launched very quickly – merchants in Latvia had only three days to prepare for the new order. The Latvian Covid certificate validation program also works through the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology and responds in less than a second to ensure that the certificate is valid.
“We needed to prepare very quickly for the implementation of the new restrictions – the introduction of a state of emergency in Latvia was announced on Thursday, more detailed information was published only on Friday, and the new procedure has already entered into force on Monday. We already had a working and tested solution in Lithuania, so we were able to apply it to Latvia as well, so that we could continue to receive visitors smoothly,” says Dominykas Mertinas, Head of Marketing and Communication department at “Akropolis Group”.
According to D. Mertinas, Latvia also needed a solution that could scan COVID certificates faster than a regular phone video camera.
According to the decision of the Latvian government, only shops with essential goods and places providing such important services as shoe repairs or dry cleaning will be allowed to work in large shopping malls on weekends and holidays. All other stores will only be open on weekdays.
The state of emergency in Latvia was declared for three months. This period will also include the Christmas trade boom when customer flows are higher. According to V. Garbauskas, it was important for the 98 thousand. sq. m. widely visited “Akropole” of Riga, to have the equipment, which is shock-resistant and for its battery to be able not to discharge after several hours of operation.
“Nothing will happen to a specialized handheld computer, which is a size of a smartphone, even if it is accidentally thrown on the ground. Also, its battery will keep running all day long even if you are constantly scanning the QR codes of the certificates. This is especially important for business because there is no need for phone replacement, and it is even economical because there is no need to replace broken equipment. And after the end of the pandemic, when it is no longer necessary to check Covid certificates, the mobile computer can be used in other processes – inventory management, goods assembly, warehouses. All you have to do is install other apps,” says V. Garbauskas.
This is not the first project of a Lithuanian company in a neighbouring country this year – this summer “Raso” has installed trading systems in Latvia in the stores of the retail chain “Mere”, which has just introduced itself on the Latvian market. The company has certified its “Raso Retail” cash register program in Latvia and is planning further development in this country.
“Until now, we have only been equipment sellers in Latvia, and this year we are also stepping in as a solution developer. We are strong in retail solutions and automatic identification (Auto ID) technologies, so in the coming years we aim to become the leaders in the Auto ID segment and gain a significant share of the retail solutions market,” says Edgars Kišuro, “Raso” Head of Sales in Latvia.
The Lithuanian company, which started its activities thirty years ago, develops, supplies and services cash registers, electronic labels and other commercial and technological equipment to companies, and has accumulated extensive experience in such activities.
“In Lithuania, we had a month to prepare for the National Covid certificate checks, but in Latvia – there were only three days. I am glad to have a good long-term relationship with equipment manufacturers and an experienced team of our programmers and engineers. This is more important in business now than ever before,” says V. Garbauskas.