Author: Madara Ķešane
Amid growing coronavirus infections and sluggish vaccination, the Lithuanian government may consider reintroducing more restrictions, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has warned.
Immunity passports may be required to access certain services, she said on Tuesday, urging people to get vaccinated.
“The situations is, as predicted, getting worse, meaning that the daily infection count is growing fast and not just in Lithuania,” Šimonytė told reporters.
Moreover, as vaccination has been plateauing, “the government will have to discuss introducing conditions so that hospitals are not overwhelmed”, she added.
She noted that the biggest concern is the growing occupancy rate in the country's coronavirus wards rather than infection counts per se.
According to Šimonytė, people between 20 and 40 have been particularly slow to get vaccinated. “It is hard for me to understand, because these are the most mobile people who'd probably like to travel, have more flexibility for entertainment and other services,” Šimonytė said.
To encourage them to get vaccine jabs, the government may expand the scope of services that would only be accessible with immunity certificates – either Lithuania's own ‘opportunity passport’ or the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
Šimonytė also noted that the government might expand the scope of mandatory testing for people working in higher-risk environments.
Asked whether vaccination could be made mandatory for employees in some sectors, she said “I cannot rule it out, but so far we're not discussing it”.
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