VILNIUS – Ministers will decide on the suspension of COVID certificates in Lithuania next Wednesday, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says.
"I can say that the government has had the plan to suspend COVID certificates for the past several weeks but we've been coordinating decisions with the health minister and have also had discussions with the business sector, so I think the Cabinet will decide on the suspension of COVID certificates next Wednesday," the prime minister told reporters on Friday at the Aleksandras Barauskas Frontier Station in Lithuania's southern district of Varena.
As the Omicron variant continues to spread in Lithuania, causing a milder form of COVID-19, doubts have been raised recently on the necessity of COVID passes. All the more so, the health minister has recently approved rules on allowing key workers with no-symptom COVID to continue working.
Lithuania introduced national COVID certificates last May as a measure to manage the pandemic and promote vaccination. Under the government decision, persons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, have recently recovered from the infection or have a negative test could receive such certificates to enter public spaces.
In late December, the requirement for children aged 12 and over to have such certificates was introduced but later suspended until March 1.
COVID passes have sparked controversy in Lithuania as people have staged protests, with one even evolving into a riot outside the parliament.