VILNIUS – Lithuania on Monday started issuing EU digital COVID certificates facilitating travel between the Community’s countries.
“Lithuania has taken up the initiative and we are making a start with the digital COVID certificate as of today,” Health Vice Minister Zivilie Simonaityte said during a remote news conference.
The first 300,000 certificates had already been generated in Lithuania, she added.
“At this moment, approximately 300,000 Lithuanian residents who either have had the virus or have been vaccinated can obtain the digital certificate as the process of uploading new data to the e-health system continues without interruptions. This process continues all the time,” the deputy minister said.
According to Simonaityte, certificates for more people would be generated in the next few days or, at most, within several weeks.
More than 250,000 people in Lithuania have had COVID-19 and more than 1.11 million have received at least one doze of coronavirus vaccine, according to the data from Statistics Lithuania.
Approximately ten EU countries have started issuing EU digital COVID certificates since early June, with the remaining EU and Schengen area countries due to join the system by early July.
The digital COVID certificate has been introduced in a bid to facilitate border checks. However, each country is free to establish its own requirements for arriving people.
Under the existing rules in Lithuania, there are no additional restrictions for incoming or returning people one week after they received the second doze of the Pfizer vaccine, two weeks after they received the second doze of the Moderna vaccine, 15 days after they received the second doze of the AstraZeneca vaccine or two weeks after they received the only doze of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Also, there are no restrictions for people who have had the virus if the period from the confirmation of their COVID-19 diagnosis (either by an PCR or antigen test) does not exceed 180 days. It is worth noting that the EU digital COVID certificate will include information that a person has had the virus only after a positive PCR test result.
If a person does not comply with the said terms, he or she will have to have a negative test made within 72 hours before the arriving in Lithuania. In addition, he or she will have to isolate upon arrival.
Lithuania was now talking to Latvia and Estonia about uniform rules for arrivals, Simonaityte said.
“We want to have the same requirements, to have clearer requirements for people who want to travel within the so-called Baltic bubble,” she explained.