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To contain coronavirus infection, Government resorts to new measures applicable to leisure and entertainment businesses

Date

2020 10 21

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Earlier today, the Government has approved a draft proposal amending the Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania declaring a state of national emergency drawn up by the Ministry of the Interior, which aims, through further restrictions, to contain the spread of the coronavirus infection within the next two weeks by 8 November this year.

This draft resolution brings changes as regards the regulation of trade, services, leisure and event activities, including gambling houses and amusement arcades, bingo halls and betting and totalisator outlets. These facilities will be subject to the conditions laid down by the State Commander of National Emergency Operations regarding flow management, safe physical distancing and other requirements with a view to preventing the coronavirus infection from spreading at these points.

According to the Minister for the Interior Rita Tamašunienė, the draft resolution also provides for mandatory registration of visitors at leisure, entertainment, event, catering and other facilities.

‘The proposed amendment is expected to better ensure the traceability of contact persons and their isolation, which is a key measure for infection control. It will enable better identification of the chain of infection and more efficient process for epidemiological testing’, said Minister for the Interior Rita Tamašunienė.

The practice has shown that insufficient measures make it very difficult to trace contacts in gathering points, particularly in bars, nightclubs and other entertainment places that attract large flows of visitors, leading to both a lengthy epidemiological research and testing process and a markedly increased workload for researchers and testers.

Visitor registration will not be required in the case of takeaway food or where food can be otherwise delivered to natural and legal persons. Nor will the registration be required for employees of catering establishments operating on shifts.

The draft resolution provides for shorter working hours of catering establishments, restaurants, cafés, bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues, which will stay open from 7 am to midnight.

Restrictions on working hours will not apply in the case of takeaway food or where food can be delivered otherwise, where catering is provided to the staff of enterprises operating on shifts within the territories and on the premises of these establishments. Opening hours will not be restricted at gambling houses and amusement arcades, bingo halls and betting and totalisator outlets, unless catering is provided at these facilities.

The draft amendment also provides for revised arrangements in educational activities. Basic and secondary education will be carried out remotely until 8 November this year. Non-formal education for children and adults will be carried out remotely or discontinued. Higher education is recommended to follow suit as regards remote education.

From 9 November this year, pre-school, pre-primary, general education and non-formal education of children and adults, vocational education and training and higher education will be provided under the conditions laid down by the State Commander of National Emergency Operations for the management of the flow of people, safe physical distance, and other key requirements for public health safety, hygiene, and the provision of persons with necessary personal protective equipment.