Or with your family. But no cousins, uncles (especially if you see them once a year anyway), or friends from abroad. Since Lithuania entered lockdown on Wednesday, contacts are now limited to a single household. You may still go for a stroll in pairs, though.
At least for now, as officials have hinted at a curfew if people flout rules.
Meanwhile, large businesses have been seeking loopholes that allow them to stay open, even as smaller businesses selling non-food items have been forced to shut and are fearing collapse. Some large DIY stores have filled their aisles with food, claiming they’re exempt from the ban.
Burger King went further, you could argue, by hiring influencers to invite people to attend the opening of the restaurant.
For all else, you can find live updates here with the most pressing news as they come, as well as a recap of rules and restrictions. This will be our last newsletter before Christmas, but we will back with you on December 31. LEAVING OR ENTERING LITHUANIA? Follow the guidelines here if you are looking to enter or leave Lithuania. To put it simply – the country does not consider closing borders or applying new restrictions. Common sense should prevail for all else – ie, you can travel across the country to get to a station or an airport, etc.
Though, check online for public and intercity transport schedules as they’re likely to change (for trains here and for buses here ). CORONA BOMBSHELL As of Thursday, Lithuania is the worst affected country in the world, according to the seven-day coronavirus infection rate published by the New York Times. Medics have already said they’re forced to triage by choosing who gets to receive treatment.
Among the mounting death toll, a Jewish-Lithuanian literary scholar and Holocaust survivor who passed away at the age of 92.
But not only the elderly are falling victim. A 27-year-old man became the youngest person to die from Covid-19 in the country. His doctors explain what happened. MONEY TALKS The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, will vote on the updated budget bill on December 22. For now, it’s clear that Lithuania’s general government deficit is estimated at 7 percent of GDP next year, 2.1 points higher than projected earlier. The government is also seeking to boost crisis spending by around 1 billion to help the economy weather the pandemic. CHARGED ISSUES EU leaders have backed Lithuania by calling on Brussels to ban electricity imports from Belarus. Vilnius has been seeking a bloc-wide action against the Astravyets nuclear plant it considers unsafe, and this marks one of the biggest shows of support. Two incidents immediately after the launch of the plant may have helped. The fact that Belarus refuses to cooperate with Europe’s nuclear watchdog may not help the situation, though. In the meantime, the Baltic states and Poland signed the largest ever grant from Brussels dedicated for energy independence. If you’re confused how the energy grid synchronisation project, which will unplug the Baltic states from Russia and Belarus, relates to Astravyets NPP – read here . JANUARY 13 – 30 YEARS ON Lithuania is due to mark the 30th anniversary of the events of January 13, 1991, when Soviet forces still stationed in the country attempted to seize power. Fourteen people died and hundreds were injured.
After a process that took decades, Lithuania sentenced 67 Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian citizens – including the late Soviet defence minister, Dmitry Yazov – for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But now Russia has brought criminal charges against Lithuanian judges, saying it would seek an international search warrant. EDITOR’S PICKS: – Could Vilnius become the centre for Baltics and Eastern Europe? And what’s the legacy it will leave for the future generations – gentrification and supermarkets, or more? Vilnius Identity conference attempted to address these issues.
– Lithuania is seeking leadership in testing digital euro. The country’s central bank, which has already issued the world’s first digital collector coin, is among European institutions looking into the need and possibility of digitising the euro. – Helping vulnerable emigrants – in the latest Lithuanian Dream Podcast, we speak with an expert on diaspora networks, Kingsley Aikins.
– Lithuania became the first country to open an investigation into crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Belarusian regime officers. But can the case be successful ? – Earlier in December, Lithuania came under the biggest and most complex cyber attack in years, according to the defence minister. Read more here . – A new rotation of US troops, who brought along their main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, have arrived in Lithuania in what is increasingly becoming routine deployment.
– Personal protective equipment made by the repressed Uighur Muslim minority in China has made its way into Lithuania. An investigation by OCCRP.
– Santara Clinics in Vilnius, the largest hospital in the Lithuanian capital, have called for volunteers to help with a spike of hospitalisations.