News

2020.04.06 09:47

Last passenger flight arrives in Vilnius as Lithuania closes airspace

As Lithuania closed its airspace on Sunday night, a plane carrying 106 passengers arrived in Vilnius from Minsk, Belarus.

Another plane brought 87 people from the Belarusian capital to Lithuania on Saturday. These were the last passenger flights to Lithuania.

Both flights included Lithuanians repatriated from abroad, who transferred via Minsk in an effort organised by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

Read more: Lithuania closes border to cars from Russia and Belarus

Among the passengers, there were 14 Lithuanians citizens who travelled from Saudi Arabia, as well as four people who were stranded in a Peru jungle and arrived in Europe on a repatriation flight organised by Germany.

"We can welcome the completion of the operation to bring Lithuanian citizens back from Peru, launched almost three weeks ago on March 16 after Peru closed its land borders and airports," Rasa Jakilaitienė, the spokeswoman for the Lithuanian foreign minister, told BNS.

Read more: Lithuania bans passenger air, ferry travel

Three citizens also returned from India on the same flight on Sunday, and one person returned from Nepal.

Lithuania closed its airspace to passenger flights on Saturday to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Flights can only be organised with permission from the foreign and transport ministers. The ban doesn't apply to cargo planes.

All people who arrived from abroad are undergoing coronavirus tests and they must self-isolate for two weeks.

Lithuania can still be accessed by ferry from Germany's Kiel or by car via Kalvarija-Budzisko border checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Polish border or Grenstale-Saločiai border checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Latvian border.

The restrictions will be in place during the whole quarantine time, at least until April 13.