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Lithuanian Parliament in session , Source: Ernests Dinka, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Opportunity Pass mandated for Lithuanian legislators

Opportunity Pass mandated for Lithuanian legislators

Changes to the national Covid certificate system take effect on 28 December

Starting on 1 January, 2022, all members of the Lithuanian parliament will need an Opportunity Pass (the national Covid certificate) to enter the parliament building, public broadcaster LRT reports.

Setting an example

This amendment to the parliament's rulebook, the Seimas Statute, was approved with an overwhelming majority last Thursday. 85 MPs backed the proposal, 17 voted against it and 19 abstained.

Without the Covid certificate, deputies will neither be able to attend plenary sessions and sit in committees, nor organise indoor meetings with their constituents.

Parliament Speaker Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen said that with this decision the parliament would set an example for the rest of Lithuanians. Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė echoed this sentiment by stating that it would be fair to require Covid certificates from MPs, especially since they are mandatory for some professions.

Covid certificate system updated

As of 28 December, rules for possession of the Opportunity Pass (Galimybių Pasas) change. 

A validity of 7 months for the national certificate is set. This applies to both those who have been infected with Covid-19 prior and the fully vaccinated unless they have got a booster jab in the meantime.

Certificate extension of 60 days is possible after getting a positive serological antibody test result (only the first test is covered by the state). The pass will be extended indefinitely after receiving a booster shot.

An Opportunity Pass will also be required of children above the age of 12 when accessing certain services. Children aged 12–16 will acquire a full-fledged pass valid for 7 months after completing their vaccination cycle or recovering from the coronavirus.

A serological antibody test will allow children to obtain a certificate with a limited duration of 60 days. The document can then be extended through regular rapid antigen testing at school or a weekly PCR test at a mobile testing site, paid for by the state.

The Opportunity Pass will not have an expiry date in cases of “mixed immunity” such as:

  • When a person has recovered from Covid-19 and has been fully vaccinated later.
  • When a fully vaccinated person later got infected and recovered from Covid-19.
  • When a person with one shot of the vaccine contracted the disease and following recovery, received the second dose.

Nine vs. seven months validity

The EU Digital COVID Certificate will be valid for nine months, under new rules adopted by the European Commission. A booster shot or a negative test result will be required to extend the pass from 1 February 2022.

Despite the EC recommendation that each member state apply the same rules, Lithuania has decided to keep its national certificate valid for 7 months.

Coronavirus situation

639 cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths were registered in Lithuania on Monday, 27 December, data released by the Department of Statistics shows. There was a rise in hospitalizations, with 1,161 patients treated for COVID-19, 110 in intensive care. According to Minister of Health Arūnas Dulkys, pandemic management measures would be tightened if the number of occupied ICU beds reached 240.

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