Lithuania may limit working hours of bars, impose restrictions on nightlife

The Lithuanian government will consider limiting working hours of bars and nightclubs in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga has said.

“There are catering establishments working overnight. Next week, the government will be presented with a proposal to reduce working hours,” Veryga told reporters on Friday, adding that bars and nightclubs might be allowed to work until midnight.

“Businesses should be aware of it and make preparations,” he added.

Rolanda Lingienė of the National Public Health Centre (NVSC) said people get too relaxed and forget safety measures while drinking late at night.

“The later it is at night, the more relaxed people get and maintaining distances is more difficult,” she said.

Meanwhile bar owners say their businesses suffer due to uncertainty. “A bar is not just a bar, there are suppliers, a whole economic chain,” Saulius Galdikas, a bar owner, previously told LRT TV.

Some business owners have also argued that cutting opening time by one or two hours would not do much to limit the spread of the coronavirus.