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Tighter requirements for mass events will help prevent coronavirus infection

Date

2020 10 07

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The Government has approved a draft amendment to the Resolution declaring a state of national emergency submitted by the Ministry of the Interior, one of the main objectives of which is to change the principles for compiling the List of the Affected Countries approved by the Minister of Health.

‘Given the rapidly changing situation in Lithuania and the world, it is necessary to react quickly and flexibly to the latest epidemiological situation. With the increase in morbidity in Lithuania, it is expedient to include in the List of the Affected Countries only those countries where the risk of coronavirus infection is higher than in Lithuania,’ says Minister of the Interior Rita Tamašunienė.

The draft Resolution includes in the List of the Affected Countries the countries wherein the 14-day morbidity rate is higher than the corresponding morbidity rate of the Republic of Lithuania by 10 percent and more. Additional epidemiological criteria (testing coverage rate, percentage of positive test results, availability of information, and hospitalization rate) also need to be assessed when listing third countries.

The amended Government Resolution expands the definition of events to include non-commercial public events, such as city festivals, festivals, and other organized gatherings of people.

The Resolution also establishes mandatory distribution of event tickets or registration of participants regardless of the number of spectators (participants). To ensure the flow control and traceability of contacts, an obligation for the event organizer has been set to control the access of spectators to the event venue.

The latter requirement is highly important for mass events where it is not possible to predict the number of participants and ensure compliance with other requirements.

‘The adopted amendments regarding events will allow to better ensure the main means of preventing the spread of infection, namely, distancing, and the main means of infection control, namely, traceability of contact persons and their isolation,’ says Minister of the Interior Tamašunienė.

To date, it has not been possible to trace the contacts of participants of events with up to 300 spectators, which means that it has not been possible to identify the chain of infection transmission and to control the process. It should be noted that many countries have limited the number of participants in events and have set the necessary conditions, while the number of participants is not restricted in Lithuania.