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Lithuania with new mask mandate and homeworking recommendation from 1 October

Lithuania reintroduces indoor masking due to Delta spread

Lithuania reintroduces indoor masking due to Delta spread

Teamwork in enclosed spaces should be carried out remotely

The Lithuanian government has decided to make mask-wearing obligatory in all indoor public places from 1 October. At the same time, it recommends switching to remote working, where applicable, for public and private legal entities which employ groups of people in enclosed premises, LRT reports.

14-day infection rate above 634

Motivating its decision, the government notes that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Lithuania. The now dominant variant is 60 percent more contagious than the original strain, meaning that transmission requires both a shorter time and a lower concentration of the virus.

Infections are going up across Lithuania (and the Baltics in general), and on 28 September, the daily average of new cases stood at 1360. The 14-day case notification rate per 100 000 people was 634.7. 1162 patients with Covid-19 were treated in hospital, 121 of them in intensive care units.

Currently, 67.7 percent of the Lithuanian population (vaccinated or recovered) is immune to Covid-19, but the number of persons who have achieved immunity is still insufficient to control the spread of the virus, the government’s resolution states.

Mask wearing not dependent on Opportunity Pass

For these reasons, as of 1 October, wearing face masks, including respirators or other devices becomes mandatory indoors. This applies to providing or receiving services, purchasing goods, working, or attending events, regardless of whether the activity requires possession of an Opportunity Passport or not.

In addition, given that the virus spreads easily in places without adequate ventilation, those who work in enclosed spaces, especially teams, are advised to switch to remote working where possible. This recommendation applies to both public and private legal entities.

As the Minister of Health Arūnas Dulkys explained, there will be exceptions to the mask mandate. Persons with disabilities will be exempt, as well as restaurant goers when dining, athletes, speakers, actors and performers during events, plays, broadcasts, rehearsals, video and audio recordings.

Information about the mask mandate will be available in public places. The responsibility for non-compliance would lie with the customers and service users themselves, said Dulkys.

No need of new lockdown

Last week Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė hinted that another national quarantine may be needed to make the mandatory wearing of masks legally binding. But after consultation with lawyers, it was decided that the new measures can be applied in the context of the current emergency situation.

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