In response to the coronavirus spread, Lithuania is temporarily reintroducing border controls, Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė announced on Saturday morning. Foreign nationals without work permits will not be allowed to enter the country.
“In order to contain the threats of Covid-19, Lithuania is reintroducing controls on the European Union’s internal borders as of today by the order of the interior minister,” Tamašunienė said in a press conference, specifying that the measure comes into effect at 18:00.
Only foreigners with work permits in Lithuania will be allowed to enter the country. Meanwhile Lithuanian nationals returning from coronavirus-affected territories will have to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
Tamašunienė said that the Schengen agreement, which guarantees free movement of people across most of the EU, allows reintroduce border controls for 10 days with a possibility to extend the period.
“Passenger transport by air and by rail is stopped, but free trade regime continues, cargo trucks will be allowed to travel,” according to the minister.
“We realise that the measures are tough, but free movement, the great benefit of the Schengen zone, is now a risk,” Tamašunienė said.
Lithuania has so far confirmed seven Covid-19 cases.
Read more: New coronavirus case confirmed in Klaipėda
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