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Lithuanian PM calls on people not to go to shops unless necessary

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte on Wednesday called on people not to go to shops or service providers unless necessary after the government allowed some of them to reopen next Monday, 

"I am pleading with those who are planning to visit service providers or shops to think about (...) whether they must do so as early as next week, because the recommendation to avoid unnecessary contact remains in place," Simonyte told a news conference.

"We still have more than ten people dying every day; we have over a thousand people in hospitals, apart from more than a hundred in intensive care," she said. "We still have to make an extra effort to improve the situation, to reduce the number of cases and to be able to return to normal life more quickly."   

The prime minister added that following the recommendations is the only "way to avert a third lockdown that the government wants to avoid at all costs".

Earlier on Wednesday, the Cabinet decided to allow non-food shops with direct street access and hairdressers and beauty salons to reopen next Monday.  

Health Minister Arunas Dulkys said the government took the step because it wanted to provide a level playing field for small and medium-sized businesses and because of the improved epidemiological situation.  

The government also allowed street vendors to sell non-food products. 

The current restrictions on travel between municipalities and gatherings remain in place. 

Hairdressers, beauty salons and most non-food stores in Lithuania have been closed since December 16. 

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