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2021.07.27 17:45

Unvaccinated people may be barred from shops and cafes, Lithuanian minister says

LRT.lt2021.07.27 17:45

As daily coronavirus infections are on the rise again, the Lithuanian government will decide whether to make immunity certificates mandatory in order to access services like restaurants, cafes and shops.

“The opportunity passport [Lithuania's immunity certificate] will be needed this autumn in order not to shut down economic activities and to let people continue to enjoy their favourite restaurants, cafes and shops,” Economy Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė told reporters on Tuesday.

“However, the government will decide whether to make these services open only to vaccinated customers, since the current pandemic is spreading among the unvaccinated,” she added.

As of Tuesday, around 49 percent of Lithuania's population have been vaccinated with at least one vaccine dose. With the vaccination pace slowing down, some ministers have recently hinted that the government might stop offering free testing.

Read more: Lithuanian PM suggests scrapping free testing as it disincentivises vaccination

Currently, Lithuania's immunity certificate, the so-called opportunity passport (galimybių pasas), is issued to people who have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have recently tested negative for the virus.

According to Armonaitė, the government will decide whether to continue granting the opportunity passport to unvaccinated people with a negative test.

“We want that the people who haven't yet had the time to get vaccinated would do it now,” she said.

“We are offering vaccines for free, people can even choose the developer they prefer, something that people in many other countries can't.”

However, she added, some people may not be able to get vaccinated due to their health condition or other “objective reasons”. “We will seek to leave them the opportunity to get the opportunity passport,” Armonaitė said.

Read more: Lithuania mulls mandatory vaccination in key sectors, linking restrictions with hospitalisation rates

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