2020.03.10 15:23

Lithuanians advised to leave Italy over coronavirus quarantine

Ramūnas Jakubauskas, BNS2020.03.10 15:23

The Lithuanian ambassador in Italy has advised his nationals to leave the country.

“My advice is for people to make decisions as soon as possible,” Ambassador Ričardas Šlepavičius told BNS on Tuesday. “People have to assess the goal of their trip, what the state of their health is and why they are here, but the recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for those in the quarantine zone is to leave. And entire Italy is now a quarantine zone.”

Read more: Lithuania's first coronavirus patient tests positive after week of treatment

The embassy has proposed all Lithuanian nationals in Italy to email their contact details, he said, but very few people did so.

“We have received only 25 letters, and also some calls, with people inquiring on whether they can really leave, how they can leave, but that number of calls is not big,” according to Šlepavičius.

Foreign nationals will be allowed to leave Italy, he said.

“Today, connections with Italy are not closed, not suspended. Italy is not isolated, flights continue, some airlines have cancelled flights to reduced the number, but there are flights,” the ambassador said.

“Going home is the reason why people are allowed to move. People have the possibility to return and can use it.”

There are around 6,000 Lithuanian citizens in Italy, the ambassador said, adding that none of them are reported to have contracted the coronavirus.

“To this date, we have no facts about Lithuanian citizens with the virus,” the Lithuanian ambassador in Italy said.

The embassy is also taking preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus among its staff, he added.

“We are working, the embassy is functioning. We have taken measures, including disinfection, we have masks, we don't do handshakes, we have restricted contacts, and people have the possibility to work remotely,” Šlepavičius said.

Italy is facing the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with 9,100 confirmed cases and 463 deaths.

Only one coronavirus case has been reported in Lithuania so far.

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