COVID-19: useful information for businesses in Lithuania

In these trying times, Invest Lithuania continues to co-operate pro-actively with investors. Our team has collected information regarding the challenges and issues faced by investors during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, including issues related to migration, state support, or the lack of relevant information provided in English. To provide a clearer picture for our investors and partners, we have addressed these questions to the competent authorities and compiled the information gathered. The result is the following FAQ, which is being continuously updated, as the circumstances and rulings change.

We hope this will be a valuable resource, and if you feel there are any additional areas you would like us to cover, please feel free to contact us.

Frequently asked questions

Information last updated on 23rd December 2020

1. Support measures for business

Due to the ongoing nationwide quarantine in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Government is reviewing and updating the financial support measures for businesses. New financial measures should be introduced shortly. Please follow our updates to be the first to lear about them.

  • 1.1. Financial measures offered by Investment and Business Guarantees (INVEGA)

    At the moment, INVEGA provides the following financial measures for business during the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • Individual guarantees. INVEGA guarantees the repayment of the first instalment of the loan to the credit institution up to 80 %. The remainder is covered by collateral offered by the borrower. An individual INVEGA guarantee can be used both for lending to businesses under market conditions and for taking out any soft loan facility administered by INVEGA.
    • Portfolio guarantees to financial institutions for business loans and leasing transactions. Targeted at companies facing shortages due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This instrument reduces financing risk and thus facilitates the availability of loans and leasing to improve corporate liquidity.
    • INVEGA provides several different types of loans for small and medium-sized business.

    You will find more detailed information regarding the financial measures provided by INVEGA here.


  • 1.2. Contact details

    For more detailed information regarding financial measures, please contact:

    • Ministry of the Economy and Innovation or read more information here. Contact details: verslui@eimin.lt or (+370) 706 64 845 / (+370) 706 64 868
    • Ministry of Finance. Contact details: rsvp@finmin.lt or (+370) 5 239 0000
    • Investment and Business Guarantees (INVEGA) or read more information here. Contact details: uzklausos@invega.lt or (+370) 5 210 7510

2. Tax payments

  • 2.1. Automatic postponement of tax payments

    The State Tax Inspectorate (STI) announced a list of companies (taxpayers) that may have been directly affected by the COVID-19. You can check the list here (currently available in Lithuanian only).

    The companies included in this list, can automatically (without submitting a request) defer payment of tax debts incurred between 16 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 and are also exempt from interest on late payments.


  • 2.2. Individual requests for the postponement of tax payments

    Companies (taxpayers) who have not been included in the list but have also been affected by COVID-19 and would like to postpone tax payments (i.e. conclude a Tax Loan Agreement or use a tax recovery or interest payment), can submit a simplified application to the STI.

    The taxpayer needs to:

    • fill in an application form (currently available in Lithuanian only);
    • indicate the reasons why the applicant should be considered to have been negatively affected by the coronavirus (e.g. due to restrictions directly applicable to economic activities, changes in the market, negative impact caused by the coronavirus to business partners’ economic activities, etc.).

    No additional mandatory documents are required when submitting an application form, but the STI retains the right to request them in individual cases.

    The application form can be submitted via My STI (Mano VMI) system, via  vmi@vmi.lt or via post.


  • 2.3. Tax loan agreements

    Until 28 February 2021, businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply to the STI and conclude a Tax Loan Agreement. According to such an agreement, VAT, PIT and other taxes payable in 2020 could be paid in interest-free instalments by 31 December 2021. It is also possible to request a deferral of payment of the first instalment for one year.


  • 2.4. Contact details of the State Tax Inspectorate

    For more detailed information regarding tax measures, please contact the State Tax Inspectorate or read more information here.

    Contact details: vmi@vmi.lt or (+370) 5 266 8200


3. Social insurance

  • 3.1. Contact details of State Social Insurance Fund

    For more detailed information regarding social insurance notifications, issuance of certificates of incapacity for work and benefits, as well as other issues during the quarantine, please contact the State Social Insurance Fund Board or read more information here.

    Contact details: info@sodra.lt or (+370) 5 250 0883


4. Idle time

  • 4.1. Announcement of idle time

    Employers have the right to announce idle time due to the quarantine and (or) state of emergency under Article 47 part 1 (2) of the Labour Code, providing the following requirements are met:

    • the employer is not able to provide work to the employee as agreed in the employment contract;
    • the employee is not able to work remotely due to the nature of the company’s activities or does not agree to perform other work proposed by the employer (if available in the company).

    If the employee is able to work remotely or accepts the proposal to perform other work, idle time cannot be announced.


  • 4.2. Idle time in different economic sectors

    Regardless of the industry, the employer has the right to individually evaluate whether, due to the quarantine and (or) state of emergency, it is necessary to announce full or partial idle time under the norms of Article 47 part 1 (2) of the Labour Code (i.e. when the employer cannot provide work to the employee as agreed in the contract due to the employee not being able to work remotely because of the specific nature of the work in question).


  • 4.3. Additional conditions once idle time is announced

    If idle time is announced due to the state of emergency and (or) quarantine, the following conditions apply:

    • the employees must not be required to be at their workplace;
    • the employee does not agree to work in another position offered to him (if there is such a position in the company);
    • the employer must pay no less than a minimum monthly salary (i.e. EUR 607 until 31 December 2020 and EUR 642 from 1 January 2021) irrespective of the salary indicated in the contract. Part of the expenses incurred by the employer due to idle time payouts will be compensated. See detailed information about the state subsidies below;
    • the employer must notify the State Labor Inspectorate about the announced idle time within 1 business day.

  • 4.4. Partial idle time

    The employer has a right to announce partial idle time due to the quarantine and (or) state of emergency. In such cases, an employee’s allocation of working days may be reduced by working days per week (at least 2 working days) or hours per working day (at least 3 hours per day). In such cases, payments should be calculated proportionally: employees should be paid their salary for the time they have worked, and for idle time they should be paid no less than the minimum monthly salary in Lithuania.


  • 4.5. Idle time notification process

    When idle time is announced, the employer is obligated to notify the State Labor Inspectorate no later than within 1 business day.

    The employer needs to fill in this form online (currently available in Lithuanian only). No additional mandatory documents are required when submitting this form. The State Labor Inspectorate retains the right to request additional information or additional documents on an individual basis. It is important to note that employers are obligated by law to keep a physical record on site of all the internal documents regarding the announcement of idle time (i.e. internal procedures, decisions of the director, etc.).


  • 4.6. Contact details of State Labor Inspectorate

    For more detailed information regarding idle time, please contact the State Labor Inspectorate or read more information here.

    Contact details: info@vdi.lt or (+370 5) 213 9772


5. Subsidies for wages paid during the idle time

  • 5.1. Request for state subsidies

    All employers, regardless of their industry, are entitled to state subsidies for their employees’ salaries if idle time was announced due to the state of emergency and quarantine under Article 47 part 1 (2) of the Labour Code.

    To qualify for state subsidies, employers also need to fulfill the following additional requirements:

    • during the past year the employer and its representatives have not had any administrative penalties for illegal or undeclared work, or violations for employing foreign nationals;
    • during the last year the employer’s representatives have not had more than one administrative penalty for violations of labour laws, occupational safety and health regulations, or the terms of commercial activities;
    • the employer maintains jobs for employees;
    • the employer does not have the status of a budgetary entity;
    • the employer must not be bankrupt or in liquidation.

  • 5.2. The amount of state subsidies

    An employer has the right to select from two models as regards their eligible amount of state subsidy for idle time:

    • 70% of the salary of the employee, but not more than EUR 910.5 gross (for a full month of idle time); or
    • 90% of the salary of the employee, but not more than EUR 607 gross (for a full month of idle time).

    If idle time is announced for less than a month, the amount of state subsidy will be calculated proportionally.

    Please find the calculation form here (currently available in Lithuanian only).


  • 5.3. The duration of subsidies

    State subsidies shall be paid from the date when the idle time was announced due to the state of emergency and quarantine. Employers must retain at least 50 % of all employee positions (workplace) for which state subsidies were paid for at least 3 months after the end of the subsidy payments. Otherwise, the employer will need to return the subsidy in full amount.


  • 5.4. Application process

    In order to claim state subsidies, an application form and additional documents need to be submitted to the Employment Authority. Documents that are submitted electronically should be signed using a qualified electronic signature.


  • 5.5. Submitting an application for the first time

    When an employer is applying for state subsidy for the first time, the following documents must be submitted by the end of the following month:

    • an application form for the payment of subsidy for the wages of employees on idle time.
    • copies of the internal documents stating that idle time has been declared.

  • 5.6. Submitting an application for subsequent months

    When an employer is applying for state subsidy for subsequent months, the following documents must be submitted by the 15th of the following month:

    • an application form for the payment of subsidy for the wages of employees on idle time (available in Lithuanian only);
    • copies of documents confirming that idle time has been declared;
    • documents proving that the previous month’s salary for which the subsidy has been granted was paid to employees.

  • 5.7. Contact details of Employment Authority or Ministry of Social Security and Labour

    For more detailed information regarding the subsidies, please contact:


6. Guidelines for employers

  • 6.1. Remote work

    All office work must be organised remotely.

    An exception applies when functions can only be performed in the workplace – in such case, the employer might allow the employee to work in the office. However, the employer must ensure a safe and healthy work environment for its employees: (i) manage employee flows, especially in the common areas, such as meeting rooms and the cafeteria, (ii) provide the employees with protective equipment, such as masks and disinfectants, (iii) ensure sufficient ventilation in the office, (iv) disinfect all surfaces regularly, (v) inform employees and visitors about the COVID-19 safety measures, such as mandatory masks.

    Communicate the main COVID-19 related safety rules and remote work requirements to your employees (e.g. working time, use of work equipment, reimbursement of increased expenses, compliance with safety and health requirements, etc.).

    The Lithuanian Labor Code establishes a general requirement that if an employee incurs additional costs related to his work, acquisition, installation and use of work equipment while working remotely, the employer must reimburse such costs (the amount of expenses and the procedure for reimbursement must be agreed in advance).


  • 6.2. Recommendations for employers when COVID-19 is confirmed to an employee, who is not working remotely

    If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, the employer should take the following actions:

    • Contact the National Center for Public Health (NCPH) regarding the infected employee.
    • Identify all employees, who were in close contact with the infected employee and thus are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Instruct these employees to self-isolate. The list of these high-risk employees should be sent to the NCPH.
    • High-risk employees must self-isolate and monitor their health for 14 days. If the signs of COVID-19 infection occur, inform these employees to reach out to the COVID-19 hotline by calling 1808 and follow all further instructions.
    • Allow the high-risk employees to self-isolate by working remotely (if possible) or declaring idle time.
    • If there is no possibility for the high-risk employees to work remotely or declare idle time, inform them to reach out to the NCPH with a request to issue a certificate of incapacity for work.
    • Inform the rest of your employees, who were not in close contact with the infected employee and thus are at low risk of contracting COVID-19, to monitor their health for 14 days. Ask them to maintain 2 meters from other people, follow hand hygiene, as well as sneezing and coughing etiquette. If signs of COVID-19 infection occur, these employees must self-isolate and reach out to the COVID-19 hotline by calling 1808.
    • Following a case of COVID-19 infection, clean and disinfect all work premises.
    • Employees are allowed to return to work only if they have not been in high-risk contact with an employee infected with COVID-19 and their functions can only be performed in the workplace.

  • 6.3. Returning to work after recovery of COVID-19

    In order for a person to be considered recovered from COVID-19, no further COVID-19 test is required. The person is considered healthy and can terminate the isolation at the discretion of the attending physician.

    Depending on the severity of COVID-19 disease, different isolation terms apply.

    Isolation may be terminated for asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients:

    • after 10 days since the first symptoms of COVID-19; and
    • if the patient doesn’t have a fever for at least 3 days.

    Isolation may be terminated for severe form of COVID-19 patients:

    • after 20 days since the first symptoms of COVID-19; and
    • if the patient doesn’t have a fever for at least 3 days.

  • 6.4. How to ensure the health and safety of employees

    The State Labour Inspectorate has prepared relevant information, recommendations and guidelines for employers, advising them on how to ensure the health and safety of their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. For details, please visit here.

    Please note that the State Labour Inspectorate regularly updates the recommendations and information it provides for employers based on decisions taken by the relevant authorities in particular fields.

    For more detailed information please contact the State Labour Inspectorate – info@vdi.lt or (+370 5) 213 9772.


7. Migration

  • 7.1. Migration requirements

    As of 16 December 2020, new measures have come into effect with regard to entry into the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, and requirements for isolation.

    Crossing the state border is restricted by prohibiting foreigners from entering Lithuania. This prohibition does not apply to the following:

    • citizens and legal residents of the countries of the EEA, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican;
    • third country nationals who have a document confirming their right to reside in the Republic of Lithuania or on whose behalf the Migration Department has made a decision to issue such a document or sent a notice to submit the necessary originals and biometric data, as well as third country nationals who are family members of Lithuanian citizens, and third country nationals who have the right to reside in Lithuania on a permanent basis;
    • third country nationals who have a national visa of Lithuania (D) or on whose behalf the Migration Department has made a decision to issue a national visa (D);
    • third country nationals legally residing in countries which are included in the list of third countries established at the level of the European Union, whose residents should not be subject to temporary restrictions on crossing external borders for the purpose of unnecessary travel to the EU – currently these countries are Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay, China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, subject to confirmation of reciprocity;
    • foreign investors arriving to Lithuania with the permission of the Minister of Economy and Innovation, when the confirmation of foreign investors planned to carry out investment in the amount of not less than 1,448,100 EUR is issued;
    • diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
    • transport personnel – crew members working in Lithuanian companies engaged in international commercial transport or performing international commercial transport in any type of vehicle, as well as seafarers;
    • passengers in transit;
    • in other exceptional cases, when third country nationals are allowed to enter Lithuania with a separate permission of the Minister of the relevant area of ​​government and their entry is approved by the Government.

  • 7.2. Requirement of isolation

    EU nationals

    According to the Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the epidemiological map of countries, Lithuania currently falls within the red area (following the traffic light principle), and shall apply preventive measures only to arrivals from countries that fall within the grey area. People returning / arriving from affected countries are subject to a 10-day period of self-isolation. The self-isolation requirement does not apply to those who received a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than 48 hours prior to arrival. The test can also be performed in Lithuania, in which case the self-isolation requirement applies until a negative laboratory test has been obtained.

    The latest list of affected countries in the EU, the EEA and other areas can be found on the website of the National Public Health Center.

    People returning / arriving to Lithuania from affected countries by any means of transportation organised and operated by carriers must register on the website of the National Public Health Center and, prior to entering the vehicle, to submit to the carrier (or a representative thereof) with a confirmation of the completion of an electronic questionnaire (QR code). In other cases (for example, when travelling by own transport) it is required to register with the National Public Health Center no later than within 12 hours from the moment of return / arrival to Lithuania.

    People arriving from COVID-19 affected countries or regions should isolate themselves for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result, obtained no more than 48 hours prior to arrival.

    The self-isolation requirement does not apply to the following:

    • workers or self-employed persons exercising critical occupations, frontier workers and posted workers, as well as seasonal workers;
    • transport workers or transport service providers, including drivers of freight vehicles carrying goods for use in the territory as well as those merely transiting, etc.;
    • patients travelling for imperative medical reasons;
    • pupils, students and trainees who travel abroad on a daily basis;
    • persons travelling for imperative family or business reasons;
    • diplomats, staff of international organisations and people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel and police officers, and humanitarian aid workers and civil protection personnel in the exercise of their functions;
    • passengers in transit;
    • seafarers;
    • journalists, when performing their duties;
    • high-performance athletes, high-performance sports specialists, sports instructors and sports medical personnel participating in international tournaments;
    • Lithuanian citizens returning from Belarus: teachers involved in the Lithuanian education in schools in Belarus and clergy performing pastoral work in Belarus.

    Self-isolation will not be required if there is a certificate from a medical establishment confirming the person had been infected by the coronavirus and had recovered within 3 months prior to entering Lithuania.


    Third-country nationals

    Since 23 November, 2020, third country nationals arriving to Lithuania are subject to the following terms of compulsory self-isolation:

    • 10 days after arriving in Lithuania, if a laboratory test for COVID-19 is not performed;

    or

    • until a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 is obtained (if the test is performed in Lithuania). A third-country national needs to call the Coronavirus Hotline (1808) or a laboratory performing tests for COVID-19 and register for the test in 24 hours after arriving in Lithuania. Upon receiving a negative test result, isolation is no longer applied. Still, it is recommended to limit the number of people contacted and visits to places of public gathering (events, shops, museums, eateries, etc.) during the first 10 days after arriving in Lithuania.

    Self-isolation will not be required if there is a certificate from a medical establishment confirming the person had been infected by the coronavirus and had recovered within 3 months prior to entering Lithuania.

    People returning / arriving to Lithuania from affected countries by any means of transportation organised and operated by carriers must register on the website of the National Public Health Center and, prior to entering the vehicle, to submit to the carrier (or a representative thereof) with a confirmation of the completion of an electronic questionnaire (QR code). In other cases (for example, when travelling by own transport) it is required to register with the National Public Health Center no later than within 12 hours from the moment of return / arrival to Lithuania.


    Isolation facilities, transportation to isolation facilities, transportation to the site of COVID-19 testing, and testing for COVID-19 for third-country nationals arriving to Lithuania must be provided and paid for by the employer, inviting person, the institution of science and education or the third country national him- or her-self.


  • 7.3. Movement within the country

    On 13 December 2020, the Government of Lithuania passed a resolution that will take effect on 16 December 2020, restricting movement within the country.

    Leaving one’s place of residence will be allowed only for the following purposes:

    • travelling to work (for work-related purposes);
    • travelling to a point of sale;
    • travelling to a person’s own real estate object;
    • travelling to a funeral;
    • to receive health care and other essential services;
    • for a walk in an open space (permitted only to members of a single household);
    • travelling to take care of people who are ill or unable to take care of themselves.

    Furthermore, during the holiday season (16 December 2020 to 3 January 2021), departures outside the municipality of one’s place of residence will be restricted, except:

    • in the case of a death of a close relative;
    • to perform work when the place of employment is in another municipality;
    • for emergency medical care.

    This restriction will not apply to persons travelling to another municipality where they own real estate.


  • 7.4. Business visits

    A nationwide quarantine is announced in Lithuania until 31 January 2020 (it may be extended or stopped depending on the situation).

    Please be aware that isolation of persons arriving from foreign countries might be mandatory. For more detailed information, please refer to section 8.2 Requirements of Isolation.

    Protective equipment that covers the nose and mouth (masks) is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public places.

    Hotel activities are not prohibited, however, please keep in mind the following safety measures:

    • no more than one family and / or one household member can stay in one room;
    • masks are mandatory in all common areas;
    • maintaining a distance of at least 2 meters between people is required;

    Remote business meetings are highly recommended. If, for an objective reason, it is impossible to organise a meeting remotely (e.g. signing documents) such a meeting may be held ensuring that safety and hygiene conditions are met (controlled flow of people, safe distance, hygiene, masks).

    Cash payments are not prohibited, however, it is recommended to opt for other payment options.

    For more detailed information and assistance please contact us at info@investlithuania.com.


8. COVID-19 testing

  • 8.1. When to perform a COVID-19 test

    People returning / arriving from affected countries are subject to a 10-day isolation period.

    Isolation does not apply to those who have a negative test for COVID-19 performed not earlier than 48 hours prior to arrival or have a certificate from a medical establishment confirming that the person had been infected by COVID-19 and had recovered within 3 months prior to entering Lithuania. It is also possible to perform COVID-19 test in Lithuania after arrival. In this case, isolation applies until a negative laboratory test is obtained.

    The latest list of affected countries in the EU, the EEA and other areas can be found on the website of the National Public Health Center.

    Foreigners arriving from third countries should call the Coronavirus Hotline at 1808, +370 (5 2) 196 180 or apply to a laboratory performing testing for COVID-19 within 24 hours from arrival and register for the test.

    List of private laboratories performing testing for COVID-19 can be found here.


9. Government decisions and other relevant information about COVID-19

  • 9.1. Contact details

    For more detailed information about Government decisions and other relevant information about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in Lithuania, please visit here.


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