Lithuania eases lockdown measures after nearly two months of quarantine

Apr 30 2020, 11:46 am

After closing its borders and issuing a countrywide lockdown on March 11, and later extending it to May 4, the Republic of Lithuania is easing its lockdown measures after nearly two months.

On advisement of the country’s Ministry of Health, the government of Lithuania will be relaxing restrictions on leisure activities, travel (as of May 4), and will permit healthcare workers to resume regular services.

There will also be alterations concerning the mandatory usage of face coverings in public spaces. All residents older than 6-years-old must wear face coverings in public areas.

“Exceptions, as has been the case until now, apply to eating and drinking in open-air cafes, also to the training of professional athletes, and in rural areas,” authorities explain in a post on the Lithuanian government website.

As of April 29, restrictions have been lifted for venues such as stores, marketplaces and other public areas, so long as they can ensure appropriate spacing between customers, “at least 10 sq m of space per buyer is ensured or no more than one buyer is served at a time.”

As well, they must be able to provide conditions that adhere to the mandatory public health safety and hygiene requirements and require that staff and customers both have essential personal protective equipment.

Failure to follow these protocols will result in such venues not being allowed to reopen.

Effective April 30, service providers can provide both indoor and outdoor services longer than 20 minutes permitting that the flow of visitors is limited. 

“Given that the risk of spreading the virus is fairly low outdoors – with extra safety and hygiene requirements – from now on, a wider range of services will be allowed in open areas,” the post explains.

Such services include dog training, photography in open spaces, and “riding [and] orienteering sports in small groups, etc.”

Also effective April 30, restrictions surrounding outdoor leisure activities will be eased. Such activities will be allowed as long as they are conducted in open areas and groups are two families or smaller, while also avoiding large gatherings of people.

Measures surrounding golf and outdoor tennis courts, outdoor shooting ranges, and water board parts have already been lifted.

Additionally, as of May 4, Lithuanian citizens will be permitted to travel outside of the country.

“Negotiations are going on with Latvia and Estonia as regards free border crossing for each other’s citizens,” the post continues. “Big outflows are highly unlikely due to the constraints applicable by other countries.”

Athletes who have met requirements for Olympic and Paralympic Games and candidates of the Olympic team, as well as those participating in world or European champions, athletes of national teams, and other team sports training for tournaments (leagues) will be permitted.

Finally, the Lithuanian government has already determined that healthcare providers will be able to resume their services once they are ready and able to do so.

“They will have to ensure the availability of appropriate infection control measures to provide for the protection of their staff and the patients,” the post states. “Health care providers are required to produce a plan for a phased resumption and provision of inpatient and outpatient health care services.”

As of April 30, 2020, according to Johns Hopkins University, Lithuania has 1,385 known confirmed cases of coronavirus with 45 deaths.