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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Lithuania

Lithuania - Consular Information Sheet
January 27, 2000

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Lithuania is a country undergoing profound political and economic change. Tourist facilities are improving. Many goods and services are now available in the major cities, but may not be fully comparable to Western standards. The capital is Vilnius.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport is required to enter Lithuania. U.S. citizens do not need Lithuanian visas for most stays of 90 days or less. U.S. citizens may contact the Lithuanian Embassy at 2622 16TH Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, tel. (202) 234-5860 for current information on visa requirements. Travelers who plan to enter Russia, even to transit, need a Russian visa.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care in Lithuania is slowly improving. Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems may be at risk because medical facilities do not always meet Western standards. However, most medical supplies are now widely available, including disposable needles, anesthetics, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Western-quality dental care can be obtained in major cities. The Lithuanian Government does not require HIV testing for U.S. citizens. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.

OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.

CRIME INFORMATION: The crime rate is relatively low compared to other major European capitals. But street crime does occur. Travelers should exercise the same precautions with regard to their personal safety and belongings that they would practice in any major city in the United States. Muggings and purse snatchings generally take place at night when the victims are walking alone along dimly lit streets. Auto theft is common. Robberies have occurred on trains, in train stations and in hotel rooms. Police forces suffer from lack of manpower, resources and equipment. Local police are not likely to speak English, so it may be difficult to obtain police assistance.

The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State’s pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for hints on a more trouble-free trip. The brochure is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or http://travel.state.gov.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial service at present between the United States and Lithuania, nor economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Lithuania’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Lithuania’s air carrier operations.

For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at tel. 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact the DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Lithuanian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Lithuania of items. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Lithuania in Washington or one of Lithuania’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Lithuania is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Good

Roads in Lithuania range from two to six-lane highways connecting major cities, to small dirt roads traversing the countryside. Street lanes are not always clearly marked, and lighting is often poor. Drivers always must be alert to visible and hidden dangers on the roads, especially slow-moving horse carts or trucks traveling at night without taillights or reflectors. Dark-clothed pedestrians walking along unlit roads or darting across dimly lit streets or highways pose a risk to unsuspecting drivers. Winter driving can be especially hazardous because roads are not always plowed. Driving with caution is urged at all times.

For specific information concerning Lithuanian driver’s permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Lithuanian National Tourist Organization via the Internet at http://www.tourism.lt/.

DRUG PENALTIES: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Lithuania are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Lithuania is still primarily a cash economy, though an increasing number of hotels, restaurants and other businesses now accept major credit cards.

CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATION: Americans are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy where updated information on travel and security within Lithuania is available. The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius is located at Akmenu 6; tel. (370)(2) 223-031.

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September 14, 1999, to update the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section and to remove Y2K information.

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