Lithuanians can go maskless as lockdown eases

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Lithuania's government said Wednesday that residents were no longer required to cover their faces outside, as the Baltic eurozone member reopened after weeks of coronavirus lockdown.

"Face coverings in outdoor public places will only be recommended from now," Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters.

Lithuanians had been required since April 10 to wear masks outside to slow the spread of the virus. Police fined hundreds of people for disobeying the order.

Masks remain compulsory on , in shops and at markets for now.

Among the first EU members to ease lockdown restrictions, Lithuania has already reopened open-air restaurants and cafes, along with shops and libraries, as infections slow.

Skvernelis said restaurants will be allowed to serve clients inside starting next week while will have the option to reopen schools later this month.

The government also approved plans to partially resume flights. More than 150 arrived at Vilnius airport from Frankfurt on Wednesday afternoon—the country's first regular passenger flight since mid-March.

The nation of 2.8 million people has so far registered 1,505 cases, including 54 deaths.

© 2020 AFP

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