"Our proposal is to (...) restrict the movement into and out of these municipalities" where infection numbers are significantly higher than in the rest of the country, she told a news conference.

Eight municipalities currently have more than 500 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to the minister.

Figures from Statistics Lithuania show that these are the municipalities of Panevezys, Kupiskis, Birzai, Svencionys, Salcininkai, Varena, Kalvarija and Marijampole.

Bilotaite said that despite certain lockdown easing steps, "the situation has stabilized and even slightly improved", noting that the pandemic is currently on a downward trajectory and mortality has decreased.

The government has extended the nationwide coronavirus lockdown until April, and the ban on non-essential travel between municipalities until March 15.

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