A nationwide quarantine has been announced in Lithuania, effective Monday, 16 March until Monday, 30 March 2020. It is possible that the quarantine may be extended for a longer period. There are no exemptions for individual territorial units. Non-compliance can result in liability for both natural and legal persons.
The Government resolution on the declaration of quarantine in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania is available here (in Lithuanian).
The Sorainen COVID-19 Task Force is at your disposal, should you need advice on any legal issues you are facing. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will update the information promptly if there are any new decisions announced by the Government.
Key information for business
Movement of goods. There is no restriction on the movement of goods, including purchasing, selling, transporting inside the country, importing and exporting.
- visiting cultural, leisure, entertainment, sports facilities and providing physical service to visitors. This includes museums, cinemas, children’s playrooms, sports clubs and other institutions;
- all events and gatherings in open and closed spaces;
- activities of healthcare centres, sanatoriums, recreation centres, except individual rehabilitation services related to treatment;
- activities of restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. The prohibition shall not apply when the food can be sold as a takeaway or delivered to customers. This means that caterers with the ability to sell food for takeaway or to deliver it have the right to operate;
- activities of shops, shopping/entertainment centres and markets. The prohibition does not apply to the sale of food, veterinary, pharmacy and optical goods. Similarly, this prohibition does not apply to online sales and when goods can be delivered to the customers. This means, for example, that a business selling electronic and/or home appliances can operate as long as the clients are not served in the physical stores;
- providing beauty services;
- activities of casinos and slot machine operators.
Hotels. Hotel activities are not prohibited. Hotels and other facilities may be used to isolate individuals by a separate agreement between municipalities and accommodation providers or at the request of the municipal administration director.
- Public sector. State and municipal institutions, offices, state and municipal enterprises must organize work and service clients remotely, except when it is necessary to perform relevant functions at the workplace.
- Private sector. It is not obligatory for private sector companies to organise remote work; however, it is recommended to do so. Therefore, we recommend to evaluate the possibility of remote work immediately and, if possible, organise it.
Force majeure. The announcement of quarantine does not imply that the circumstances of force majeure are freely applicable. The possibility of applying force majeure clause and the possibility of modifying or terminating contracts upon the change of the circumstances should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is also important that persons who have difficulty in meeting the terms of a contract must react as soon as possible and inform the other party to the contract (read more here).
Support from Lithuanian tax authorities. Businesses suffering from COVID-19 may expect support from Lithuanian tax authorities – the State Tax Inspectorate encourages those affected to apply for a tax loan (delayed payment or payment in instalments of taxes due). Additional measures are currently being analysed and further help may be expected.
Employees at the workplace. Announcing quarantine does not mean that employees in affected businesses may not come to the workplace automatically. Companies have to resolve these matters themselves and inform their employees accordingly. Read more here (in Lithuanian).
Cash payments are not prohibited (however, it is recommended to opt for other payment options).
Arrival and departure of Lithuanian citizens to and from Lithuania
- Lithuanian citizens are not prohibited from returning to Lithuania from any areas, including those considered risk areas. Citizens are invited to return as soon as possible and those who do not have the opportunity to return to Lithuania on their own are encouraged to register. For more information visit the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
- Lithuanian citizens are forbidden to leave Lithuania unless they return to their place of residence, go to their place of work, or leave with the permission of the head of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service or of his authorized person.
Arrival of foreign nationals to Lithuania
Foreigners are banned to arrive in the country, excluding:
- drivers and crew members in commercial and/or international cargo operations;
- foreigners who have the right to reside in Lithuania (ie non-EU citizens with a temporary or permanent residence permit and EU citizens with a certificate confirming the right to reside in Lithuania temporarily or permanently). Please note that visa holders do not have the right to reside in Lithuania and may, therefore, be refused entry;
- foreigners with diplomatic immunity and privileges, persons serving in military units of NATO countries, service personnel and their family members;
- until 19 March 2020 12:00 AM transit through the territory of Lithuania of persons returning to their country of residence without the necessary stop is permitted.
Isolation of persons returning from foreign countries. All persons returning from any foreign country are required to be isolated for 14 days.