As of November 13, Lithuania registered a record 2,066 cases of Covid-19, and nine people died from the virus over a 24-hour period. It has caused the death of a total of 253 people since the beginning of the pandemic. To date, 1,162,033 tests for Covid-19 have been carried out in Lithuania.
The most numerous outbreaks occurred at Klaipėdos Energetika (Energy Klaipėda), Orlen Lietuva, Lazdijų Šilumos Tinklai (Lazdijai Heating), Utenos Vandenys (Utena Water) plants, the prosecutor’s office in Klaipėda, as well as social care homes, hospitals, and administrative offices of local municipalities across the country.
According to data by Revolut Bank, a day before the nationwide quarantine came into effect in Lithuania on November 7, crowds hit bars, restaurants and cafes: spending on November 6 was 45% higher than on Friday the week before. Revolut based its statistics on data from 300,000 clients.
During the first nationwide quarantine in spring, most businesses were forced to shut. This time, however, shops are allowed to remain open, while the new restrictions have mostly targeted public gathering places, such as gyms, theatres, bars and restaurants.
Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said additional restrictions will be considered unless the situation becomes more stable.
Rules and recommendations in effect until at least November 29 are similar to those elsewhere in the world today. People are advised to avoid contacts outside their households. Private contacts should be limited to two households and up to 10 people.
People must not congregate in public places in groups of more than five people, unless they are members of the same household. Groups must maintain at least 2-metre distances and avoid physical contact. No more than 10 close family members are allowed to attend occasions like funerals and weddings. It is recommended that people avoid unnecessary travel. Restaurants and cafes are only allowed to serve food to take away.
No restrictions are imposed on supermarkets and pharmacies. Other retailers must manage client flows, maintaining 10 square metres per customer. Hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo parlors are allowed to remain open, but are required to manage client flow. Nurseries and primary schools remain open, while secondary schools must move at least 50% of their classes online. Colleges and universities must switch to remote teaching.
Health care institutions continue providing essential care, while elective and non-emergency treatment can be suspended to ensure resources for Covid-19 treatment and care.
Public transport may limit the number of passengers to ensure that at least 1-metre distance is maintained. Facemasks are mandatory in all public places, including on the street. Masks are not required for children under six, during exercise, and outside towns and villages where distances of at least 20 metres can be maintained. Hospital visits are not allowed, except for family members visiting terminal patients, children under 14 and patients in maternity wards.
President’s Address to Parliament
At its first sitting on November 13, President Gitanas Nausėda called on the country’s newly-elected parliament to reduce social exclusion and emphasized that economic growth alone will not solve the problems at hand. He noted that “Now is the right time to reduce all types of social exclusion, fight inequality and public division”, and parliament should pay special attention to people living in poverty and the disabled. He warned that the crisis induced by the coronavirus pandemic might further increase social exclusion, therefore, he stressed the need to make decisions that would “protect the lives of people of Lithuania and businesses”.
Women in the Labour Force
Lithuania was ranked first in the world for having the most women among the country’s labour force, according to yearly rankings by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland.
The IMD World Talent Ranking assessment includes performance in education, apprenticeships, workplace training, language skills, cost of living, quality of life, remuneration, and tax rates. This year, Lithuania moved up one place and was ranked 27th. It ranked third in pupil-to-teacher ratio in secondary education, 12th in the cost of living index, and 13th for apprenticeship training. Lithuania received the lowest scores for finance skills, brain drain, and remuneration in services professions.
Among European Union member states, Lithuania came 13th and is slightly above the EU average. Estonia ranked 27th this year, Latvia is 34th, and Poland is 37th. Switzerland has been leading the list for the past seven years, with Denmark coming second this year, followed by Luxembourg.
New Website: Laisveskovos.lt
Lithuania’s Genocide and Resistance Research Centre has launched a new website, Laisveskovos.lt, with the first publicly-accessible list of the country’s anti-Soviet resistance fighters. The list includes 12,799 names, including those of people killed on the battlefield, executed by firing squads or those who died in prison between 1944 and 1953. “Armed anti-Soviet resistance was one of the Lithuanian society’s strongest actions in the country’s history,” according to the statement issued by the state-funded research centre. “Participants of the partisan war are not only armed fighters, but also people who were not directly affiliated with armed structures. They include partisans’ communicators and supporters.”
In future, the list will be updated with the names of survivors – people who were sent to gulags and later came back, as well as those of resistance participants and their communicators who went into hiding. The centre has asked the public for assistance in providing new information as well as corrections.
With news from LRT.lt and Alkas.lt