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The Lithuanian government is not extending the current ban on non-essential travel between municipalities, meaning that the measure will expire as of Wednesday, Health Minister Arunas Dulkys said on Tuesday.
Palanga šeštadienį
Palanga šeštadienį
© Mindaugas Milinis

"From midnight on (April) 7, travel between all municipalities will be open," he told a news conference.

Non-essential travel between municipalities was banned in mid-December 2020 amid spiking coronavirus cases.

The ban was lifted in most municipalities, except for those with the highest infection rates, on March 16, but was reinstated ahead of the long Easter weekend to prevent the spread of the virus.

"The restriction was reimposed for a limited period of time, for Easter. We urged people to stay at home and I thank everyone who refrained from non-essential travel. Thus, the government decided not to extend this restriction," Dulkys said.

The government will now focus on testing and vaccination as a means to keep the pandemic under control and expects everyone to follow the coronavirus safety rules, the minister said.

"Apparently, we have to acknowledge that the movement restriction as a measure (to manage the pandemic) has been exhausted," he said.

Dulkys noted, however, that the travel ban had helped to stem the record-breaking spread of the coronavirus last winter.

The nationwide coronavirus lockdown, in place since November 7, 2020, has been extended until April 30.

Currently, the situation is "not improving" as the number of new cases and the share of positive infections are growing, according to Dulkys.

The government is worried about an increase in positive cases among people who develop symptoms and about the situation in hospitals that currently have almost a thousand COVID-19 patients, the minister said.

Vilnius is the most affected city and the situation in Kaunas is worsening, too, he noted.

BNS
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