News2020.04.14 16:45

Lithuania considers allowing some businesses to reopen this week

Paulius Viluckas, BNS 2020.04.14 16:45

Some shops may be allowed to reopen this week as Lithuania plans to start easing quarantine restrictions. However, gyms, cafes and hair salons will have to wait.

“Tomorrow, the government will decide whether to back the first stage of relaxing [quarantine restrictions],” Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

Under the proposal, the first stage would include non-food retailers, household and repair shops and other small businesses with direct access from the street and able to control client flows.

Marius Skuodis, a vice minister of economy and innovation, has told BNS that retailers located in shopping malls would not be allowed to reopen yet.

Beauty salons, outdoor cafes and gyms would also have to wait, according to him.

“The next stage will include catering businesses – restaurants, cafes, but outdoor only initially. It could also include beauty services as well as various other activities and services provided outdoors,” the vice minister said.

If the government backs the plan on Wednesday, the new conditions would come into force immediately, Skuodis said.

Quarantine to be extended

The coronavirus quarantine in Lithuania will probably be extended beyond the end of April, the country's Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said on Tuesday.

“I believe it would be realistic to expect that the quarantine will be extended,” he told a press conference, adding that, if extended, the quarantine conditions might change.

“We are speaking about softening certain conditions. But the quarantine, as a measure, might remain in place for a longer period of time,” Veryga said.

Lithuania was placed under a nationwide quarantine on March 15 and it was later extended until April 27. Schools, cultural establishments, most non-essential shops, catering venues and beauty salons were ordered to close.

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