While media is overwhelmed with news about the Coronavirus from many countries, you will not hear much about the Baltics. And it is precisely the case when no news is good news!
After starting the lockdown in advance Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia managed to keep the numbers low from the beginning. From the first day the governments managed to establish strict discipline and introduce safety rules that kept this part of Europe relatively safe and quiet.
Thus, by today (the 4th of May) less than 4000 of total cases have been registered in all 3 Baltic States.
Exit from the lockdown
With only a few cases and basically no deaths life is slowly getting back to normal here.
In Lithuania most of shops, street cafes, hairdressers, libraries and museums are beginning to reopen as part of a staged exit from lockdown. The mayor of Vilnius wants the city to open up and keep it alive. Hence, the plan is to turn Vilnius Old Town into a vast open-air cafe by giving over much of its public space to bars and restaurants for free so they can put their tables outdoors and still observe physical distancing rules. Recently the most popular post in social media is about capturing photos of happy Lithuanians enjoying spring sunshine with a drink outside.
Meanwhile in the Latvian capital softer quarantine restrictions with open cafes and bars have been kept from the beginning if the owners could provide a two-metre distance between clients. In Riga people are permitted to walk around the streets, use public transport and travel to other cities, if the social distancing requirements are kept.
Estonia, the smallest of the Baltic States had slightly more cases from the beginning that imposed the Estonian government to follow the policy “the more the better” and keep tight safety regulations till the 17th of May.
Skies start to open up
Another good news comes from the airlines. AirBaltic, the major Baltic air carrier is getting ready to fly to the major European cities as early as the 13th of May.
As soon other European countries will be open, the travellersfrom Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Paris and other major European cities will be able to fly to Riga again.
Meanwhile for Lithuania the first country to open for the flight connection will be Germany. Lufthansa expressed an interest in restarting regular flights to Vilnius and first flight to Frankfurt is scheduled already on the 10th of May.
Preliminarily reopening of the borders between the Baltic States is scheduled in the middle of May.
It is definitely a good sign and the travel industry is looking forward for our dear customers to come back.