Authorities in Lithuania have updated the country's coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related entry restrictions. Effective Oct. 26, all citizens and legal residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, the UK are allowed to enter Lithuania. Moreover, travelers arriving from certain locations having an infection rate of fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days can enter the country without restriction; these include Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Greece (except for Western Macedonia), Cyprus, Germany (except for Berlin), and Sweden (except for Stockholm), as well as Italy's Calabria region, and the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira. Travelers from EAA nations having greater than 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. Persons entering from such locations may leave isolation earlier if they can provide negative results from a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours before arriving in Lithuania.
Citizens and residents of certain non-EEA nations may also enter Lithuania without having to self-isolate. These countries include Australia, Canada, Georgia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, and Tunisia.
Most citizens and residents of other countries remain barred from entering Lithuania, with only limited exceptions, such as Lithuanian citizens and residents and their immediate families, health workers, transport workers, and persons traveling for exceptional reasons to be approved by authorities on a case by case basis. All individuals arriving in Lithuania via public or private transport must register online with the National Public Health Centre (NVSC) at least 24 hours before arrival; this does not apply to persons transiting via air transport and remaining airside for the duration of the layover.
In addition, authorities plan to tighten certain domestic restrictions in Kaunas, Klaipeda, Vilnius, Silale, Sirvintos, Telsiai, and Trakai. Effective Oct. 28 through at least Nov. 12, all individuals must wear facemasks in both indoor and outdoor public places, except when engaging in sports or exercise activities. Moreover, shops and stores are restricted to having no more than one person per 10 square meters (107 square feet) of floor space in their establishments at a time. Furthermore, gatherings in public areas are limited to five people. The same set of restrictions entered into effect in Elektrenai, Joniskis, Jurbarkas, Kelme, Kretinga, Marijampole, Pasvalys, Plunge, Skuodas, Siauliai, and Svencionys on Oct. 26.
Nationwide, most nonessential businesses have reopened, provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing requirements; protective face coverings 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.
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.