VILNIUS – In a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus mutations, Lithuania is stepping up controls on the roads from Poland as of Wednesday morning.
"(Officials) will check if those travelling from the Polish side have filled out the questionnaire and have the test result, which is what is currently being done at airports,” Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite posted on Facebook after Monday's meeting of the government's emergency commission.
She told a news conference later on Monday that checks on travelers arriving from Poland by car would be tightened as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
The State Border Guard Service will assist the National Public Health Center (NPHC) to carry out checks on the border roads. Border guards are currently helping public health officials at airports and the seaport of Klaipeda.
"We'll come to the aid of the NPHC which is tasked with organizing enhanced lockdown compliance controls at the European Union's internal border," Antanas Montvydas, deputy commander of the State Border Guard Service, said at the news conference. "We'll have at least two mobile patrols, and police forces will be involved, too."
"The aim is to check all arriving or returning persons to see if they have registered with the NPHC, if they have the (QR) codes to prove that and if they have provided the necessary data," he said.
Officials will help a traveler who has not registered prior to arrival to complete the form on the NPHC website on the spot. Those who refuse "will held liable under the Code of Administrative Offences", according to Montvydas.
Such controls have been in place at Lithuanian airports and the seaport of Klaipeda since February 8.
All travelers coming to Lithuania have to fill out the NPHC questionnaire prior to arrival and present a negative coronavirus test. They must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Lithuania.