Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Lithuania maintains COVID-19-related travel and business restrictions as of Sept. 21.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 02:03 PM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Lithuania are maintaining international entry restrictions as of Sept. 21 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All citizens and residents of the European Economic Area, Switzerland, and the UK are permitted entry to the country. As of Sept. 15, travelers arriving from countries where the COVID-19 infection rate exceeds 25 per 100,000 inhabitants must produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, and must also self-isolate for 14 days. This can be reduced to 10 days if a test taken after eight days of self-isolation returns a negative result.

Most non-EU citizens and residents remain barred from entering Lithuania, with only limited exceptions, including Lithuanian citizens and residents and their immediate families, health workers, transport workers, and for exceptional reasons to be approved by authorities on a case by case basis. Citizens and residents of those third countries specifically identified by EU authorities as having COVID-19 activity levels low enough to allow nonessential travel to the bloc may enter Lithuania. As of Sept. 15, all individuals arriving in Lithuania are required to register with the National Public Health Centre (NVSC) at least 24 hours prior to arrival; this does not apply to individuals transiting via air transport and remaining airside for the duration of the layover.

Most nonessential businesses have reopened, provided they implement strict hygiene and social-distancing requirements; protective facemasks are mandatory on public transport and in all enclosed public spaces. Authorities continue to encourage remote working, when possible.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Lithuanian government are similar to actions taken by other European governments in response to limiting the spread of COVID-19 activity. 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.

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.


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