Last updated October 13, 2021
Today’s Status, Looking Towards Spring 2022 — Yellow
There are several current factors to watch in Lithuania. Lithuania is open to vaccinated US travelers. However the school situation is still not ready for the program.The schools where ILP volunteers teach in Lithuania need more time to re-open. When the program in Lithuania does re-open, we expect the Lithuanian government will require travelers be vaccinated to enter the country or work with children.
Check below to get more details on some key aspects that we’re watching. Each of these components help us determine when we’ll be able to send volunteers to Lithuania again (it’s stuff you’re going to want to know). Also, this info is changing often. Our goal is to keep things current with weekly updates, so check back frequently.
Lithuania is now open for fully vaccinated travelers which is a great first step for this location.
However, there have been some recently added restrictions in an attempt to contain the Delta variant. As of July 5th, all arrivals who are not fully vaccinated are subject to various testing depending on the “color status” of their country. Green country arrivals will need a Negative Covid-19 test, Yellow country arrivals will need the same (and be tested upon arrival), Red countries will need to present a test and undergo a 10-day quarantine, etc.
You don’t need a visa to enter Lithuania: all tourists get a 90-day stay. Since your ILP semester is longer than 90 days, volunteers typically leave the country and visit favorite spots in Europe.
Airports are open!
The country went on a strict lockdown in March 2020 which did a good job curbing infection rates. Since slowly opening up, numbers have been increasing, with a series of subsequent lockdowns. After months of spiking cases, numbers are decreasing — as of October 13, Lithuania has 1104.4 active cases per 100,000 people.
Quality health care in Lithuania and other nearby countries in the EU is available and the outbreak in Lithuania has not ever reached the point that they were overwhelmed or even full.
In Lithuania, they’ve rolled out a National Certificate given to vaccinated citizens. With your National Certificate, you are free to attend outdoor activities with no capacity limits, attend seated indoor events, and situations (explained below). Masks are still required for all indoor events.
ILP volunteers teach in very small private after-school locations in all cities in Lithuania. That type of small enterprise has been hit extremely hard with the shut-downs that have happened in the EU.
The schools where ILP volunteers teach were forced to shut down in April 2020 and plan to re-open as soon as the school closure situation is stable. Unfortunately, the Covid restrictions have not been stable enough to re-open these small private schools that have hosted the ILP program, even though public schools are reopening.
Home teaching and online teaching are unfortunately not an option for a Lithuania program at the current time.
The country has been under different levels of lockdown that fluctuate as case numbers rise and fall. Overall, more is available to those who are vaccinated, which means activities like shopping markets, gym, public events, shopping malls, movie theaters, parks, etc are all operating across the country.
Out & About
The nation is in a state of national emergency, a switch from the national quarantine stage which lasted from November 2020 to June 2021.
All citizens will need to present their national Covid-19 certificates to visit major shopping malls, and large shopping markets, gyms, and events with more than 500 in attendance. Masks are required while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
A National Certificate is not required to visit museums, exhibitions, libraries, open-air services, stores and markets, pharmacies, and other institutions.
The nation is adding a requirement for intercity train travel — all passengers will have their National Certificate checked before boarding. Passengers can also present healthcare documents proving vaccination, recovery from Covid-19, or a negative test taken in the last 48 hours. Face masks will no longer be mandatory.
When the nation isn’t under strict lockdown, in-country travel options are a go, with buses and trains taking people to some of our favorite things to see in Lithuania. Plan on visiting pretty coastal towns, peeking around the famous Hill of Crosses, and spending weekends touring picturesque Old Towns.
When volunteers are in-country, we’ll be working with them about what vacation options are available. Right now , it’s looking like vaccinated Americans will be able to visit a whole list of countries, but policies are constantly changing. Volunteers will be working with their Program Manager prior to any vacation plans.
Okay, now what? Should I still apply for Lithuania?
If you’re thinking “that’s all really good to know, but what does that mean for me?” we have some good news to share: time is still totally on your side.
We’ve seen policies change without notice that have made the difference between us thinking we’ll need to wait longer and helping us determine that this location is something we’re pretty optimistic about. Sometimes that has happened in the span of just a couple of weeks or even in a single day. A lot could change for Spring 2022 volunteers.
So we say start your application now so that you’re ready when the time comes. We are going to need volunteers who are ready to go right when things change for the better, which is why we think it’s a good idea to have your application in (even if things potentially look uncertain right now). Time really is on your side.
We’re also here for all of your questions. We’d love to talk about deferring to a later semester if things still need more time or finding a country right now that’ll be a good fit for you. You can bet that once things open up, you’ll be the first to know!