Lithuania's police warn they might tighten public control during quarantine

  • 2020-03-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's police have warned they might need to tighten the control of public places where many people gather to ensure compliance with the ongoing quarantine introduced in Lithuania to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Police Commissioner General Renatas Pozela says people gathering in parks and leisure zones and children playing together pose threat, and officers might have to make "authoritative decisions" if the situation doesn’t change.

"Not everyone realizes the threats. We see yards full of children, we see filled public spaces, we see tourism spots at least around Vilnius where there are quite a number of people," the police told journalists on Thursday.

"Residents need to be once again explained that self-isolation does not mean walking somewhere, being in public places or meeting with other people, which means being in closed territories. If that doesn’t work, we might need to take authoritative decisions," Pozela said.

People must self-isolate for two weeks after returning to Lithuania from abroad and they can go outside only to places where they will not meet other people.

All other people are advised to choose more remote areas where they can maintain a distance of at least 2 meters, and children cannot play contact games.

Ramunas Matonis, spokesman for the Police Department, later told BNS that stricter measures could be enforced if such a decision was made by Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga who is leading the Emergency Operations Center.

The Police have received 359 reports on alleged quarantine and self-isolation violations in 24 hours by Wednesday.

Lithuanian was placed under quarantine for two weeks on Monday to slow the spread of the coronavirus.