Quarantine Exit too Soon?

Spring in Kaunas / BNS photo

COVID 19 news from LT

On April 15, Lithuania’s Health Ministry published its proposed lockdown easing plan, which the government approved later the same day. “Taking into account the fact that a strict lockdown regime has already been in place for almost four months and is having an increasingly negative impact on people’s mental and physical state, and the whole society is tired of the lockdown, measures are needed to improve this situation,” said Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys. “Therefore, certain lockdown easing should be considered.” According to LRT.lt, the ministry is proposing to allow cinemas and theatres to reopen, and also organizing outdoor and indoor events with audiences. In all cases, the number of audience members cannot exceed 50, with none standing, and they would not be allowed to take up more than 30% of all seating.
Tickets would only be sold online, and no food would be sold during such events.

Gyms could reopen as of April 26, but they would be required to ensure a space of 20 square metres per person. No more than five people, excluding the trainer, would be allowed to attend group classes.

The ministry is also proposing to allow catering establishments to reopen from April 22. They would include restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as those operating at seaports and airports.

Catering establishments could operate from 7 am until 9 pm and would be allowed to run table service in open spaces, with no more than two people at one table, unless they are members of one household. Minimum distances between tables and other conditions would be set by the health minister.

Under the proposal, stores at shopping centres could be allowed to resume operation as of April 19, excluding those situated at marketplaces. Trading venues would be required to ensure a space of 20 square metres per person or to serve no more than one person at a time. Moreover, they would be banned from opening on Saturdays and Sundays, excluding places with direct outdoor access, which have been allowed to reopen already. All shops, marketplaces and other public trading venues would be allowed to reopen as of May 3. They will be required to ensure a space of 15-20 square metres per person.

The Health Ministry is also proposing to ease conditions for people with coronavirus immunity, including those who have recovered from the illness and those who have been vaccinated.

Some restrictions for such people could be relaxed as of April 22. They could be allowed to be in groups of up to 10 people. They would also be allowed to visit residents of all care facilities and hospital patients. Rural tourism sites and other accommodation facilities would be allowed to provide pool and sauna services as of April 26, but only for members of one family or household. Pool services for school children would also be allowed.

Vaccines and Infections

Lithuania will not start administering Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines after the producer has asked to keep delivered shots in warehouses, Health Minister Arūnas Dulkys said on April 14. Lithuania received the first batch of 4,800 J&J vaccine doses on April 13.

On the same day, however, US health authorities recommended temporarily pausing the use of the vaccine while a link between the shot and a rare type of blood clot is being examined.

The company then said it was delaying the rollout of its vaccine in Europe.

Lithuania has registered 1,168 new coronavirus infections and nine deaths from Covid-19 over the previous 24 hours, the country’s statistics office said on April 15. Lithuania’s 14-day coronavirus infection rate currently stands at 483.2 per 100,000 people. Overall, 230,462 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Lithuania since the start of the pandemic.

Currently, 208,890 people are considered as having recovered and 13,241 remain active cases.

A total of 3,730 people have died from Covid-19 in Lithuania so far. The total number of deaths directly or indirectly related to the coronavirus has reached 7,561. About 25,000 vaccines were administered on the 15th: 19,122 people were given the first shot and 6,192 received the second. So far, 528,668 people in Lithuania have been vaccinated at least once, or about a fifth of the population.

With news from LRT.lt