Baltic countries ease Covid-19 restrictions as vaccination rate increases

Riga, May 20 (EFE).- Lockdown rules have eased in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia thanks to the Baltic countries’ improving coronavirus situation.

After an upward trend in infections earlier this year, Estonia allowed students to return to classrooms on May 17.

Cinemas, concert halls, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and bars will reopen under capacity limitations by the end of May.

More than 418,000 people (30% of the population) have received at least the first dose of the vaccine in the small Northern European country.

Before the recent surge in infections, Estonia had the least amount of Covid-19 restrictions of the three Baltic countries and was comparable to Sweden, which kept most commercial and public life open over the past year.

Lithuania, the most populous of the three countries, has extended opening hours for restaurants and bars from May 24 and allowed all shopping centers to open on weekends.

Outdoor events of up to 300 people can be held, while indoor events are still limited to 150, according to the country’s pandemic rules the government amended on May 19.

When tougher restrictions were in place, Lithuania banned all unnecessary travel between cities.

Some 887,413 people in Lithuania have been vaccinated with the first dose, while 460,411 others have been fully vaccinated, according to the Lithuanian public broadcaster.

Latvia, meanwhile, is taking the most cautious approach of the three, opening classrooms based on regional infection rates and allowing outdoor dining services only.

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