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2021.01.13 16:31

Some lockdown restrictions to stay in place beyond January – Lithuanian PM

BNS2021.01.13 16:31

Some of the existing lockdown restrictions will remain in place in Lithuania beyond January 31, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said on Wednesday.

She would not specify, however, whether the lockdown would continue into February.

The general trend in containing the coronavirus “is positive but the question is whether it is sufficiently rapid”, the prime minister told reporters.

“The first challenge is that we have to come down from a rather high mountain. The second challenge is the simultaneous spread of mutations somewhere near Lithuania, which may pile that mountain once again very quickly,” she said after the government’s meeting.

As an example, Šimonytė mentioned Ireland, which had to reintroduce a lockdown following the spread of a new, more infectious Covid-19 mutation.

Read more: Lithuania to review lockdown measures on January 17

“What we want the most is to avoid such a rollercoaster, we want our exit strategies to be controlled and be in line with the strategies of testing and vaccination,” she said.

“And I can state clearly today that the restrictions will not expire altogether on January 31, this will not happen. Some of the restrictions may possibly be lifted. However, we will still have to discuss the specific restrictions, as well as the speed and stages of their removal,” added Šimonytė.

Potential easing of lockdown restrictions would be discussed in more detail next week, according to the prime minister..

As part of the nationwide lockdown, in effect until January 31, most shops and services are closed and there are restrictions on people's movements and gatherings.