Kaunas under quarantine – without basketball rims

Kaunas as well as other cities in Lithuania is following precautionary measures that Lithuanian authorities have decided to take to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. Currently, Lithuanian citizens, unless they reside or work in another country, are banned from leaving the country. People must self-isolate for two weeks after returning from any foreign country. Foreigners are forbidden from entering the country.

From March 20, the access to the terminals of Kaunas airport is only possible to passengers with valid tickets/boarding passes. People meeting arriving passengers have to wait outside. Public transport runs as usual, but tickets can no longer be purchased on the bus directly from the driver. We suggest using online tickets.

SPA centres, beauty salons, shops and shopping centres (except pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores), museums, galleries, concert halls, theatres, cinemas, information centres, schools and universities are closed. Restaurants and bars are closed, except for food deliveries and takeaway. All public events, including conferences and other performances, are cancelled. Municipalities have suspended non-essential services. Public and private sectors workers are recommended to work from home.

Visiting patients in hospitals and prisoners in incarceration facilities is prohibited. Pre-planned medical procedures, vaccinations, dental services, rehabilitations have been postponed, except for emergency medical assistance. Planned vaccinations are also suspended.

A mobile coronavirus testing site is operating  in Kaunas.

Sports are also under quarantine

Kaunas is forced to use quarantine even for basketball. Following the example of US metropolitan cities, a difficult decision was taken to dismantle basketball rims across the city. It is part of the “Be wise – stay at home!” campaign to remind orange ball kings about the need to respect quarantine restrictions and avoid live social contacts.

It is well known that basketball for Lithuanians is more than a game, it is a way of life.  The residents, police and public order officers record repeated gatherings in basketball playgrounds and do not listen to any warnings. As a result, measures have to be taken, i.e. the temporary dismantling of basketball rims. “Many people like to showcase their abilities on the basketball playgrounds. However, during the pandemic we cannot afford this – the basketball is a contact sport, so players risk not only their own health, but the health of friends, family members," says Vice-Mayor Mantas Jurgutis.

In response to the ban on social gathering in public places, Kaunas is taking drastic measures: more than 200 basketball rims will be dismantled. This will affect most of the sites in the city where quarantine violations have been observed. Immediately after the quarantine, the rims will be returned back to their places. 

This action makes Kaunas residents to consider that each of us can, through our irresponsible actions, further delay the return of the basketball rims to the sites. Thus, for how long Kaunas will remain without a second religion depends on the ability of all citizens to comply with the rules in force. Quarantine regulations prohibit all kinds of social gatherings, all indoor and outdoor competitions and sports training. No matter how much they would be willing to exercise in urban parks or playgrounds, Kaunas people are encouraged to avoid any living social contact and instead to engage in sport at home.