Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Lithuania Launches EU Vaccine Passport to Facilitate Travel

Lithuania has facilitated the travel process for all vaccinated people against the Coronavirus by issuing EU vaccination passports.

Even though the EU has unfolded its plans to launch such documents for all EU citizens as well as for specific categories of passengers from third countries by July 1, about ten countries have already made such a system functional by early June, a month ahead of the deadline, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

According to Lithuanian Health Vice Minister Zivilie Simonaityte, the first 300,000 COVID-19 certificates have already been generated in the country.

“Approximately 300,000 Lithuanian residents who either have had the virus or have been vaccinated can obtain the digital certificate as the process of uploading new data to the e-health system continues without interruptions. This process continues all the time,” Simonaityte pointed out.

Based on the current rules imposed by Lithuania’s government, travellers are exempted from additional restrictions upon their arrival if they:

  • received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • two weeks after they have taken the second dose of the Moderna vaccine
  • about two weeks after they received the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • two weeks after they got vaccinated with the only doze of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Exempted from the restrictions are also people who have fully recovered from the virus if the period from the confirmation of their COVID-19 test result does not surpass 180 days.

If people do not follow the requirements mentioned above, they will be obliged to present a negative result of the Coronavirus test, not older than 72 hours, upon their arrival in Lithuania. In addition, they will be obliged to comply with quarantine requirements.

More than 276,540 persons have tested positive for the Coronavirus in Lithuania, as yet, according to the figures published by the World Health Organization. The same source reveals that the virus led 4,309 persons to death in this country.

After more than a year of applying travel bans and other restrictions in a bid to halt the spread of the virus, like many different European countries, the Baltic state is seeking to facilitate the travel process this summer and prevent the travel and tourism sector from facing further financial losses.

In this regard, in April, Estonia’s Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets stressed that her country would like to restore the “Baltic Bubble” in order to revive the travel and tourism sector by the summer season.

Lithuania’s Health Vice Minister also stressed that the country was talking to other Baltic countries’ authorities, Latvia and Estonia, regarding the uniform rules for arrivals.

“We want to have the same requirements, to have clearer requirements for people who want to travel within the so-called Baltic bubble,” she explained.

However, such an initiative had not been supported by the European Commission. In addition, the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, criticized the idea of creating “mini-Schengen Zones” to ease the travel process.

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