Severity: Warning Alert
Exit/Entry: Lithuania to make face masks mandatory on public transport and in all enclosed shopping spaces from Aug. 1; other restrictions maintained.
- Alert Begins: 29 Jul 2020 07:58 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 24 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Lithuania make wearing face masks on public transport and in all enclosed shopping spaces mandatory from Aug. 1 despite low coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates in the country. Previously, authorities updated the list of countries for mandatory 14-day self-isolation upon return for Lithuanian citizens and for foreign travelers. All travelers arriving from countries with more than 16 cases per 100,000 population over the last 14 days must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
Foreigners remain barred from Lithuania, except for the following:
- Citizens and permanent residents of the countries of the European Economic Area, Switzerland, and the UK, provided that the infection rate in that country is below 16 cases per 100,000 citizens
- Foreign citizens granted a permanent resident status, or are in possession of a national visa
- Citizens or permanent residentsfrom countries included in the EU-level list of third countries, for which nonessential travel to the EU is allowed, unless the COVID-19 infection rates in the country is above 16 cases per 100,000 citizens.
- Foreign diplomats, and persons serving in NATO military missions
- Freight transporters
- Athletes, journalists, and artists that have a special invitation by relevant local authorities
- Persons in transit through the country
Most nonessential businesses have reopened provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing requirements Authorities continue to encourage remote working when possible. Authorities may reintroduce, extend, or otherwise amend restrictions at short notice dependent upon the evolution of disease activity in the region.
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 decreasing COVID-19 activity in the country. 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.
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.