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2021.07.19 17:28

Lithuanian PM suggests scrapping free testing as it disincentivises vaccination

LRT.lt2021.07.19 17:28

The Lithuanian government may discontinue offering free coronavirus tests, as this makes it too easy for people to avoid getting vaccinated, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has suggested.

“I think that in the near future, voluntary testing [...] would not be too cheap an alternative to vaccination,” Šimonytė told reporters on Monday, suggesting that only compulsory testing, required for work, for example, should remain free.

“I'll put it frankly: it [testing] costs more to the state and the taxpayers than vaccinating a person,” she added.

Her comments came after Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius made a call on the government to discontinue free testing altogether.

Šimonytė said that some people were avoiding to get vaccine jabs, because they can get access to events and services by getting free tests.

“This system of incentives should be changed,” she said, suggesting that if the country needed to go into quarantine again, people with immunity would be under fewer restrictions.

Šimonytė once again encouraged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible, since it takes around six weeks for immunity to form.

“Those who get vaccinated today, would be safe and assured by September 1,” she said.

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