2020.10.21 15:29

Lithuania to put 12 municipalities under quarantine

BNS, LRT.lt2020.10.21 15:29

The Lithuanian government has decided on a traffic light system to differentiate coronavirus restrictions across the country's municipalities. Twelve of them will be labeled red and put under local quarantines.

“In light of the unfavorable epidemiological coronavirus situation, we propose to introduce quarantine in Elektrėnai and the districts of Joniškis, Jurbarkas, Kelmė, Klaipėda, Kretinga, Marijampolė, Pasvalys, Plungė, Skuodas, Šiauliai and Švenčionys,” Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga told the cabinet.

Quarantine restrictions will come into effect on Monday and will last until November 9. Raseiniai District was put under quarantine earlier this month.

The measures include limiting the number of passengers allowed on public transport, imposing a ban on crowding in public places and requiring that people keep at least a two-metre distance from others.

Facemasks will be mandatory for everyone aged over six in all public indoor spaces, except while eating or drinking.

State and municipal institutions as well as businesses in the red areas are instructed to switch fully or partly to telework and limit the flows of customers.

Religious communities are asked to avoid big gatherings.

Hospital visits will also be restricted in the quarantined municipalities. Family members will only be allowed to visit terminal patients, children under 14 and patients in maternity wards.

According to the criteria approved by the government, municipalities will fall into the red category if the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed over the last two weeks exceeds 50 per 100,000 people and the share of positive Covid-19 tests is over 4 percent.

To stay in the green category, municipalities need to keep their case count under 25 per 100,000 people and positive coronavirus tests under 4 percent.

The yellow category will apply to those municipalities that have under 50 cases per 100,000 people, but more than 4 percent of positive tests, or between 25 and 150 cases if the share of positive tests is under 4 percent.

Lithuania will apply the same traffic light system to foreign countries, with travel restrictions depending on the category. The system has been proposed by the European Union.

The Health Ministry will be announcing updated lists every Friday, with restrictions coming into effect on Mondays.