Lithuanians who are currently in Italy are advised to leave the country, Lithuanian Ambassador to Italy Ricardas Slepavicius says.
Koronavirusas plinta Italijoje
Koronavirusas plinta Italijoje
© AP / Scanpix

"The advice is for people to make decisions as soon as possible. People have to evaluate the goal of their trip, what their health state is and why they are here, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' recommendation for those in the quarantine zone is to leave, and the whole of Italy is now a quarantine zone," the diplomat told BNS on Tuesday.

In his words, the embassy had provided the possibility for Lithuanians in Italy to provide their contact information to the embassy by email but few people have used it.

"We have received only 25 letters, and also some calls, with people inquiring on whether they can really leave, how they can leave, but that number of calls is not big," Slepavicius said.

He says that Lithuanians, just as citizens of other countries, will have the possibility to go home.

"Today, connection with Italy is not closed, not suspended. Italy is not isolated, flights are ongoing and some airlines have cancelled flights o reduced their number, but there are flights," the ambassador said. "Going home is that reason why people are allowed to move. People have the possibility to return and can use it."

There are around 6,000 Lithuanian citizens in Italy who came to stay temporarily, the ambassador said, adding that there's no information yet that any of them or Lithuanians permanently residing in Italy have contracted the coronavirus.

"To this date, we have no facts about Lithuanian citizens with the virus," the Lithuanian ambassador to Italy said.

In his words, the embassy is also taking preventive measures.

"We are working, the embassy is functioning. We have taken measures, including disinfection, we have masks, we don't do handshakes, we have restricted contacts, and people have the possibility to work remotely," Slepavicius said.

Italy is facing the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe, with 9,100 registered cases and 463 deaths.

Only one coronavirus case has been recorded in Lithuania.

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