Lithuania bans foreigners from entering over coronavirus fearsChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 14, 2020
Lithuania is resuming control at its internal borders with Poland and Latvia due to the coronavirus threat, and foreigners will be banned from entering, informed LETA BNS.
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"It will happen today, March 14, at 6 p.m. Our neighbors have also put such measures in place, and we believe it is appropriate to do," the country's Interior Minister Rita Tamasusniene told a press conference today.
Upon the resumption of border control, border guards will carry out checks and will also ban from travelling to risky countries, but freight transportation will continue.
Returning Lithuanian citizens are not subject to any restrictions but will have to stay at home for 14 days.
The Lithuanian government is also considering soon banning foreigners from arriving in Lithuania, excluding those who have work permits to work in the country.
Rustamas Liubajevas, head of Lithuania's State Border Guard Service, told LETA/BNS once control of the EU's internal borders is resumed at 6 a.m., only foreigners with the disease's symptoms will be banned from entering.
"We already now do not allow foreigners with certain disease symptoms in, so that order will remain in place as of 6 p.m. But we are now considering restricting the entry for foreigners even more once the quarantine comes into force, and the option of completely banning foreigners is also under consideration," he said.
In his words, even in this case certain exceptions would be made to ensure transit corridors for other EU member states, for example, Latvian or Estonian citizens arriving from Poland to get to their country.
Moreover, body temperatures are checked at sanitary posts as of Friday and the sanitary-informational check is being carried out, with vans, buses and cars with foreign plates being in focus, especially taking any sky equipment.
Rustamas Liubajevas, head of Lithuania's State Border Guard Service, said any movement between Poland and Lithuania will be possible only through the Kalvarija border checkpoint.
"Movement between Lithuania and Poland will only be possible via the Kalvarija border checkpoint," he told journalists.
He also said Lithuania is closely cooperating with the Polish and Latvian state border guards services.
Yesterday, Poland announced its decision to close its border for foreigners for ten days, and the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria have also done the same. ■