Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Lithuania extends quarantine regime and most restrictive measures through at least May 11 to combat COVID-19. Some restrictions eased.

This alert affects Lithuania

This alert began 23 Apr 2020 12:17 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Through at least May 11
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Lithuanian authorities have extended the existing quarantine regime and most of the constituent restrictions through at least May 11 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The extended measures include border restrictions barring entry for most foreign nationals, excluding permanent residents and those with family members in Lithuania and diplomats and NATO employees and their families. Lithuanian nationals are not able to travel outside of the country without official authorization. Arrivals in Lithuania are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The restrictions do not apply to freight transport.

Additionally, authorities are limiting inter- and intra-city transport and prohibiting cruise ships from docking at Klaipeda. Authorities have banned public gatherings of more than two persons from different households, closed a number of public spaces and nonessential shops, and are encouraging all employees to work from home where possible. From April 27 some businesses, cultural, and leisure facilities will be permitted to open provided they adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing measures. These include hairdressers and beauty salons, open-air cafes, libraries, museums, and zoos.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Lithuanian government correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Lithuanian Government: http://lrv.lt

Lithuanian Ministry of Health: http://sam.lrv.lt

COVID-19 Hotline Lithuania: 1808

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int