Lithuania


Have any emergency powers been enacted in response to the covid-19 pandemic in your country? How long do they last, what are the provisions for extension/prolongation, what are the provisions for review?

State of emergency declared on February 26, 2020. National broadcaster report, EN: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1146225/coronavirus-lithuania-declares-state-emergency

Statewide quarantine declared from March 16 to March 30, 2020. National broadcaster report, EN: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1151486/lithuania-calls-nationwide-quarantine-shutting-non-essential-shops-and-closing-border-to-foreigners

Statewide quarantine extended to April 13, 2020. National broadcaster report, EN: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1155061/lithuania-extends-quarantine-until-mid-april

Quarantine duration and extension reviewed by  State Emergency Situation Commission nearing the end of each quarantine period.

Have any restrictions on public gatherings been imposed? How are they enforced?

All indoor and outdoor mass events prohibited. Establishments closed: cultural, leisure, entertainment and sports establishments, wellness and health centres, spas, beauty services, casinos, catering facilities, restaurants and cafes (except for takeaway services), shopping centres (except or the sale of food, veterinary, pharmacy and optical goods). Educational and childcare establishments closed. Visits to hospitals prohibited. Visits to prisons prohibited except for lawyers.

Full list of quarantine restrictions (Ministry of Health, EN): http://sam.lrv.lt/en/news/quarantine-announced-throughout-the-territory-of-the-republic-of-lithuania-attached-resolution

Official resolution declaring quarantine and detailing specific conditions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EN): https://urm.lt/uploads/default/documents/D%C4%96L%20karantino%20lietuvos%20respublikoS%20TERITORIJOJE%20PASKELBIMO_EN(3).docx

Groups of maximum 2 persons allowed in public places, except for families. Contact must be maintained at a safe distance of at least 2 meters and up to 15 minutes' time, physical contact should be avoided. Maximum 1 family member allowed in grocery and other open stores. Wearing face masks in public recommended.

Updated official resolution (Legislative database, LT only): https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/73c0b060663111eabee4a336e7e6fdab/asr

Have restrictions on leaving home been imposed? How are they enforced?

14 day self-isolation (at home or otherwise) mandatory for: all travellers back from trips abroad; persons having had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Lithuanian parliament endorsed harsher penalties for flouting coronavirus quarantine rules, with fines of up to 6,000 euros, but did not back the government's proposal to increase prison sentences for spreading the virus. National broadcaster report, EN: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1157263/lithuanian-parliament-adopts-eur6-000-fines-for-breaking-quarantine-rules

Enforced by police fines. Media report, LT: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/crime/policija-del-karantino-taisykliu-pazeidimo-nubaude-per-pusantro-simto-zmoniu.d?id=83977003

Have any other new powers been granted to law enforcement authorities? (e.g. in the UK, to detain potentially infectious persons)

Not specifically. The police have switched to remote services for non-emergency cases. Police officers assing fines and detain persons who violate quarantine conditions as per existing legislation. Legislation was amended to include the specific offence of “violating quarantine conditions” which did not previously exist. Prior to that, the same actions were processed as “failure to comply with law enforcement directives”.

Are the authorities making new use of telecommunications or other data?

Parliament might ammend Electronic communications law to so that: phone service providers would have to disclose location data of people whose movement should be restricted during wartime, a state-level emergency or quarantine. The data would have to be provided "immediately upon receipt of a motivated request in writing or through electronic means". The data should be destroyed when the quarantine, emergency situation or the state of war is lifted.

National broadcaster report, EN: https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1157024/lithuanian-government-eyes-powers-to-track-people-s-location

Official Government endorsion of the amendments: https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/62f1a3c0724311eabee4a336e7e6fdab

Proposal to be voted in the beginning of April, 2020.

Are there instances of law enforcement authorities exceeding powers? Can you provide a summary/summaries?

Not encountered.

Have any restrictions been placed on the media, or instructions handed down to media organisations, regarding reporting on the pandemic?

Not encountered.

What (if any) role has been given to the military?

Military personnel contributes to border control procedures with state border guards and public health officials. Military Police and Military Medical Service personnel monitor compliance with the quarantine requirements. Military crews guard the State Reserve Medical Supplies warehouse of the Ministry of Health and the Lithuanian Post terminal.

Full information (Ministry of Defence, EN): http://kam.lt/en/news_1098/current_issues/frequently_asked_questions_about_the_lithuanian_armed_forces_and_covid19.html

Information on this contribution

Contributor: Maryja Šupa (maryja.supa [at] fsf.vu.lt)

Date of contribution: 8 April 2020

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