As Lithuania remains one of the most Covid-affected countries in Europe, Vilnius mayor has proposed mandating national Covid certificates to access all shops and markets, as well as restricting the movement of unvaccinated people during Christmas.
According to Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, the current coronavirus wave in Lithuania is “the pandemic of the unvaccinated” because those who have not yet received their Covid-19 jabs get sick “up to five times more often than the vaccinated people”.
He added that the pandemic is costly for everyone because taxpayers fund the treatment of those infected with Covid-19, while overcrowded hospitals cannot treat other illnesses.
In the words of Šimašius, “there are two ways out of the pandemic”.
The first one – imposing a nationwide quarantine – would punish the vaccinated people, who “are fighting against the pandemic”, the mayor said.
The second way is to “tighten restrictions on the unvaccinated people”. According to Šimašius, this is the preferred way. He proposed new measures that the government could implement.
“We should impose movement restrictions on the unvaccinated people,” the mayor wrote on Facebook. “If people are not aware that they could pass the virus onto their elderly relatives, the latter need to be protected by the state.”
The movement restrictions would especially be relevant during the Christmas season, Šimašius said.
The mayor also suggested that there should be no space restrictions at points of sale but that all shops and markets were required to check customers’ Covid certificates. The requirement would also apply to public transport.
According to Šimašius, Lithuania should follow Estonia’s example and encourage vaccination by giving up testing as one of the ways to get a national Covid certificate.