Lithuania lifts ban on foreign arrivals from EU countries, imposes COVID test requirement

  • 2020-08-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The government on Monday lifted the ban for foreign travelers from coronavirus-affected EU member states to enter Lithuania, but made it mandatory for them to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. 

"The lists of less and more affected states practically lose their meaning now. The situation is changing everywhere and there are no countries with up to three cases (per 100,000 people). So, we want to make everyone subject to the same entry conditions," Interior Minister Rita Tamasuniene told the Cabinet. 

Currently, Lithuania does not allow foreign arrivals from countries with over 25 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks. 

From now on, the ban will not apply to travelers from the European Union as well as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. 

If the infection rate in these countries exceeds 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a 14-day self-isolation requirement will apply.   

If it exceeds 25 per 100,000, foreign nationals will have to have been tested negative no more than 72 hours before their arrival in Lithuania, Tamasuniene said.

Lithuanian nationals returning from such countries will have to self-isolate and get tested within 24 hours. 

"The same conditions will apply, except that Lithuanians will be tested here on their return and foreigners will be asked to get tested in their countries," Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga said. 

The Cabinet kept in place the requirement for all travelers arriving in Lithuania from abroad by air or sea to register with the National Public Health Center (NPHC) before they disembark. Travelers coming by land must do so within 12 hours upon arrival. 

With the ban on travelers from the European Economic Area (EEA) lifted, the lists of countries from which foreign arrivals are allowed or banned will no longer be published. All travelers, both Lithuanian and foreign, will have to go into isolation if they return or arrive from countries on a list that will be regularly updated by the health minister. 

The travel ban for foreign nationals from countries outside the EEA remains in place.