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17 Mar 2020 | 10:18 PM UTC

Lithuania: Government suspends all flights to Italy due to COVID-19 March 16 /update 1

Lithuanian government suspends all flights between Italy and Lithuania on March 16 due to COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries



The Lithuanian government's suspension of all flights between Italy and Lithuania remains in place as of Monday, March 16, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Authorities have advised against all travel abroad, in particular to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, China, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan. Individuals who have visited these countries will be required to notify health officials about their travel history and self-quarantine at home for two weeks. Travelers feeling unwell upon arrival into Lithuania are advised not to visit the hospital directly but call 112 to report their condition.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, February 25, over possible further spread of the virus in the country. A ban on all indoor sporting and entertainment events continues to remain in place until Friday, March 27. Outdoor events with less than 100 participants will only be allowed to proceed if hygiene and social distancing measures are put in place. As a precautionary measure, the government will be suspending schools from March 16 and have advised children to stay at home. Employers in the public and private sector have been encouraged to allow employees to work remotely from home wherever possible.

As of Tuesday, March 17, authorities have confirmed 22 cases of COVID-19. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.