Week in Lithuania: President honours Jews’ savers, first week with Covid-19 certificate rules

Last week, the key news in Lithuania were a system of requiring Covid-19 certificates in larger public places going into effect, Lithuanian Foreign Minister’s visit to Washington and state awards presented to people, who saved Jews during the Holocaust.
COVID-19 certificate goes into effect
As of Monday, September 13, people without national COVID-19 certificates are no longer able to receive non-essential services. They are barred from visiting shops selling non-essential goods, major shopping centres, marketplaces exceeding areas of 1,500 square meters. They also do not have access to beauty services, gyms or events attended by more than 500 people. However, people without national certificates will still be allowed to enter shops and marketplaces selling food, veterinary products and animal feeds, pharmacies, as well as shops selling vision corrections products and orthopaedic products, plants, seeds and fertilisers.
Two officers to observe Zapad 2021 exercise in Belarus
Two Lithuanian military officers, together with a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will observe Zapad 2021, a large-scale joint strategic military exercise held by Minsk and Moscow, in Belarus, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said on Monday, September 13.
Lithuania starts moving most vulnerable migrants to Rukla
Lithuania’s authorities on Tuesday, September 14, started to move the most vulnerable groups of migrants to a new camp in Rukla, a town in the central district of Jonava. Around 400 families with children, elderly people and other vulnerable groups will be accommodated in modular housing units set up in the new camp. In Rukla, the migrants will be accommodated in the expanded Refugee Reception Centre, which currently houses 300 people.
Banks’ 1H21 net profits jump 19.8%
Commercial banks operating in Lithuania have posted 153.1 million euros in combined net profits for the first half of 2021, up 19.8 percent from 127.8 million euros a year ago. Eleven banks and foreign bank branches ended the first half with a profit, and six reported losses, the central Bank of Lithuania said on Tuesday, September 14.
Taiwanese delegation to visit Lithuania in late October
A Taiwanese delegation of officials and business people will visit Lithuania in late October, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, September 14. Chen Li-kuo, the head of the Taiwanese ministry’s European affairs department, said the aim of the visits is to promote trade ties and investment. Relations between Vilnius and Beijing have turned sour recently over Lithuania’s support for Taiwan.
Read also: BNN ANALYSES | Lithuania’s surge in new Covid-19 cases brings mortality to one of EU’s highest
President presents state awards to Jews’ savers
President Gitanas Nausėda on Tuesday, September 14. presented state awards to Jews’ savers. In all, 37 people were awarded Life Saving Crosses for saving Jews from the Nazi genocide during WWII, despite deadly danger for them and their families. This year marks 80 years since the genocide of Jews started in Lithuania. Moreover, September 23 is marked as the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews in Lithuania. On that day, the Vilna Jewish Ghetto was liquidated in 1943. Around 195,000 Jews were killed in Lithuania during WWII.
Lithuania rises to 16th position in digital quality of life rating
Lithuania has moved five notches up, to the 16th position out of 110 countries in the digital quality of life rating published for a third time. In a scale of 0 to 1, Lithuania scored 0.69 points, up from 0.67 last year, according to a survey by Surfshark. Last year, Estonia was the leader among the Baltic states but is the 19th (0.67) this year, and Latvia came in 41st (0.58). They were in the 13th and 27th positions last year respectively.
Ministry proposes indefinite migrant detention, then backtracks
Lithuania’s Interior ministry proposed on Wednesday, September 15, keeping migrants detained indefinitely, instead of the existing six months, under an extreme situation. But the ministry has backtracked on the proposal by the end of the week.
Analysis shows Pfizer vaccine being effective against Delta variant
The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is effective against the Delta variant and protects against complications and death, Statistics Lithuania, the country’s statistical office, said on Wednesday, September 15. The analysis found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 77-80 percent effective against the Delta variant. The risk of dying from COVID-19 is at least 20 times higher for the unvaccinated than for the vaccinated, according to the analysis.
 Remains of three WWII victims found in Lithuania to be handed over to US
The remains of three WWII American pilots found in Lithuania have been handed over to the US on Thursday, September 16. The ceremony will take place at a time yet to be announced near the Medicine Faculty of Vilnius University, the US Embassy in Vilnius said. The remains will be taken to a Nebraska-based military laboratory for the final DNA tests, and then they will be handed over to the victims’ families. The three US pilots were shot dead in February-March, 1944 and a search for their remains has taken place more than 75 years. The embassy does not provide information on when and where specifically the remains were discovered.
Lithuania’s Foreign minister meets US Secretary of State
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis met on Thursday, September 16, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The two discussed economic and political measures Western countries could take to respond to China’s pressure on Lithuania over the country’s deepening ties with Taiwan. The US fully supports Vilnius in its dispute with Beijing, the Lithuanian chief of diplomacy said.
Lithuania reports 1,197 new coronavirus cases, 6 deaths
Lithuania registered 1,197 new coronavirus infections and six deaths from COVID-19 over Thursday, September 16, the country’s statistics office said on Friday, September 17. Half of the fatalities were either not vaccinated or only partially vaccinated. Overall, 313,692 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Lithuania since the start of the pandemic, including 11,050 active cases.