Vilnius prepares for second wave of coronavirus

Vilnius prepares for second wave of coronavirus

Measures concern public transport, schools, healthcare institutions and businesses

Given the surge of coronavirus cases in Europe which aggravates the epidemiological situation even in countries deemed as safe havens, like Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality has updated its action plan to curb a possible second wave of COVID-19 in the capital.

"We cannot ignore the persistent and growing threat of the virus, just as we cannot forget the important lessons learned. Summer has given us all respite, joy, confidence, but to avoid a recurrence of the spring scenario, we need to learn to live with the coronavirus for at least the next six months. We are therefore preparing for the autumn period, which may be different in many areas. Just as we met the first wave in time six months ago, just as we restored life after it subsided, so today we are ready to meet the second wave even more effectively and not allow it to take lives or paralyze city life,” Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius told the city website.

Public transport: face masks and disinfection

From August 1, on public transport vehicles, as in other public enclosed spaces, protective face masks will be mandatory again. Passengers will be reminded to put their face coverings on through various channels – billboards, screens, sound recordings and by public transport controllers.

In each vehicle passengers will find hand sanitizers. Disinfection of vehicles will be performed as before by the municipality. Drivers will be physically separated and will not sell one-off paper tickets. Passengers can get in and out through the middle and back doors only. They are asked to keep a distance from each other and pick less congested routes.  

School year: distance learning not ruled out

Vilnius is preparing for the start of the new school year as usual, providing information to schools about the relevant hygienic measures. Festivals celebrating the new school year may be postponed or cancelled in urban educational institutions. This will depend on forthcoming decisions at national level regarding the organization or cancellation of mass events.

The possibility of distance learning is not ruled out. In preparation for this scenario, at the end of August, Vilnius Municipality will organize trainings for teachers.

Parents are assured that the validity of their children’s health certificates has been extended until the New Year. Health certificates will only be required for those changing schools or kindergartens.

Healthcare: remote consultations remain

Remote consultations introduced at the start of the pandemic will stay in place and will be encouraged. The municipality takes care of setting up mobile coronavirus points and forming mobile brigades, which will be able to tackle fresh infection hotspots. 

Teleworking is encouraged

During the first wave of COVID-19, Vilnius City Municipality and its group of companies showed that it is possible to seamlessly provide all municipal services remotely. The city government invites other organizations and businesses, without waiting for the autumn, to move their work from offices to homes, cancel unnecessary meetings or conduct them in the virtual space, and provide services remotely.



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