Lithuanian traffic police in action, Source: BNS/Twitter

Lithuania extends curbs on movement in 16 municipalities

Lithuania extends curbs on movement in 16 municipalities

The police will allow travellers to transit the restricted areas using bypass roads

The Lithuanian government decided on Monday to extend the existing curbs on movement in 16 municipalities, including Vilnius and Vilnius District, until the end of March. Restrictions remain in place in municipalities where the 14-day incidence rate of new Covid-19 cases is above 200 per 100,000 people. These are: Biržai District, Klaipėda City, Kupiškis District, Marijampolė, Neringa, Panevėžys City and its district, Šalčininkai District, Širvintos District, Švenčionys District, Trakai District, Utena District, Varėna District, Vilnius City and district and Visaginas.

Checkpoints at any place, any time

Under the restrictions, non-essential travel between the affected municipalities is banned. Exceptions apply to people who commute to work, travel for healthcare reasons or visit their own real estate in another municipality.

The Interior Ministry announced that it would enforce movement controls for people who enter or exit the 16 municipalities. However, the police will focus on patrolling the main roads during the weekends rather than the weekdays and will put up checkpoints at random.

“There won’t be any stationary checkpoints working regularly round the clock, but we will tighten controls in [the restricted] municipalities and checkpoints may be set up at any place and any time,” Ramūnas Matonis, a spokesman for the Police Department, told BNS.

“Of course, we will focus on the main big roads. As regards small roads, we will use traffic restriction signs and we hope that local authorities will contribute to the effort and will set up the required signs,” added Matonis.

The spokesman advised those who need to cross the restricted municipalities to choose roads that bypass towns and cities. As an example, he pointed out that if people travel from Vilnius to Šiauliai via Panevėžys and take a bypass road around the city of Panevėžys, they will be allowed to continue their journey.

Only employees with a negative test allowed to work?

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian government has fast-tracked a plan to introduce mandatory regular Covid-19 testing of workers in certain industries, reports LRT. Parliament is considering the motion today.

If the proposed legal amendments are approved, the government would be able to draw up a list of professions and sectors where employees would be allowed to work only after testing negative for Covid-19. This provision would apply even for workplaces that are not on the list, in case they report an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

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