The Lithuanian government will decide on Wednesday whether to introduce a nationwide quarantine for at least three weeks starting on Saturday, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday.
"We will propose tomorrow that the government introduce a nationwide quarantine at the end of the week, most probably from midnight on Saturday," he said after a meeting of the government's COVID-19 response committee, LRT reported.
Thirty-four of Lithuania's 60 municipalities are currently in the so-called 'red zone' with high COVID-19 infection rates and 21 are under local quarantines.
Lithuania's 14-day coronavirus new case rate is at almost 300 cases per 100,000 people. The country's daily count rose above 1,000 for the first time last weekend.
On Tuesday, 897 new infections were reported from 4,993 tests.
In total, Lithuania has confirmed 17,453 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, 12,283 of them remain classified as active cases. Currently, 34,794 people are self-isolating.
On Wednesday morning, ERR News reported that the Latvian prime minister has suggested a new state of emergency could be called.
Prime Minister Krišjanis Karinš said, following a coalition meeting Monday, that with no sign of an improvement in daily rates and a growing ratio of positive to negative test rates, a return to a state of emergency similar to the situation in March could be introduced.
"If the existing safety measures are not enough to reduce the number of cases, then we must move faster so as not to end up in a situation where healthcare does not cope [with the workload]," Karinš said.
The county has a 14-day average of 139.9 per 100,000 inhabitants and has been reporting between 100 and 250 new cases in recent days.
Editor: Helen Wright