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2020.03.26 12:00

Lithuania walks back on mandatory isolation of travelers

LRT.lt, BNS2020.03.26 12:00

The Lithuanian government has reversed on its decision to quarantine all people arriving from abroad in municipality-provided facilities. Hundreds of people will be released home, the National Public Health Centre confirmed on Thursday.

The mandatory 14-day isolation was introduced on Tuesday in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga changed the policy in the early hours of Thursday, saying people will be allowed to self-isolate at home.

Read more: Lithuania's new quarantine rules lead to ‘chaos’ and fights

Everyone arriving from abroad will be tested for the coronavirus, according to the new decision.

Daiva Razmuvienė, an epidemiologist of the National Public Health Centre, told BNS the authorities were still working out the procedures.

“I think, we will collect samples for testing and those who can [self-isolate at home] will be released home. Those who cannot, will stay,” she said.

People who have been accommodated at city-provided facilities in Vilnius will likely be released home on Thursday, said Karolis Žukauskas, an adviser to the mayor of Vilnius.

“We want to let everyone go today,” he said, adding that the National Public Health Centre will collect everyone's samples to be tested for the coronavirus.