Lithuania eases lockdown, reopens shops and museums

Telegram från AFP / Omni
22 april 2020, 17.41

Lithuania's government said Wednesday it will reopen open-air restaurants, museums and more shops in the coming days as the Baltic state gradually loosens its coronavirus lockdown measures.

The EU member took a first step towards relaxing restrictions last week by letting those retailers reopen that have a separate outdoor entrance.

All remaining shops will be able to reopen on Thursday, while hairdressers, museums and open-air restaurants are allowed to resume operations starting April 27.

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said all shops and restaurants will have to limit the number of customers at one time and masks remain mandatory in all public spaces.

"I want us to gradually return to normal life, but we must maintain social distance and use protective measures," he told reporters.

Kindergartens, schools and universities remain closed and the ban on large gatherings remains in place.

The eurozone nation of 2.8 million people had moved quickly to enforce lockdown as the epidemic struck, closing all shops except for pharmacies and grocery stores on March 16.

As a result the virus has largely been kept under control in Lithuania, which has reported 1,370 confirmed cases, including 38 deaths.