Lithuanian PM doubts need for Baltic 'travel bubble'

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Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte. Source: The Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte doubts if there is a need for a Baltic "travel bubble" at a time when a EU-wide green certificate is being created to facilitate free movement within the bloc.

"Discussions can take place, of course. But given ongoing discussions on a European solution, the question is where we should focus our efforts on and which will be done sooner," she told reporters. 

Simonyte was commenting on reports that Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) was seeking a mandate from the government to restart negotiations with Latvia and Lithuania on restoring the Baltic travel bubble.

"I'm looking at this from a practical implementation viewpoint, that is, if we'll really need such a bubble," the Lithuanian prime minister said. "If we do, then yes, it worked last summer and can work this summer, too." 

Health Minister Arunas Dulkys said on Thursday that Lithuania is open "to all proposals", but it has different priorities now. 

"All proposals are possible, but at the moment, we have a European immunization certificate and a national immunity passport on our desk," he told reporters. 

After the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic subsided in May 2020, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia agreed on the Baltic "travel bubble", allowing free movement of citizens and residents between the three countries. 

The travel regime was scrapped, however, when infections returned to an upward trajectory in early fall. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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