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Poland tightens partial coronavirus lockdown

Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 16, 2020
The Polish government announced new restrictions on Thursday after the country recorded its highest count 8,099 of coronavirus infections in one day. The new rules will come into force on Saturday.
Poland street
Coronavirus lockdown   Poland street
Poland is now divided into "yellow" and "red" epidemiological zones. Starting this Saturday, counties with lower infection rates will be designated as "yellow" zones, while those with a higher incidence rate, 152 counties in total, will be named as "red zones." All provincial capitals, including the nation's capital Warsaw, will be "red zones."

Topics: Poland

Middle schools and higher education institutions are to hold their classes in a hybrid form in the "yellow zones," combining in-person and distance learning.

The opening times of restaurants and pubs will be further reduced in both zones, with the mandated closing time brought forward from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m., and dining will be limited to 50 percent of normal seating capacity.

Travel by public transport will also be limited to 50 percent of seating capacity or 30 percent of total capacity, including standing places. Weddings can only be held with a maximum of 20 guests and without the traditional ball. All spectator sports are to be played without spectators (the current rule is 25 percent of venue capacity). Swimming pools and gyms will have to remain closed until further notice.

In "red zones," the maximum permitted number of people in shops will be five per cash register. Middle schools and higher education institutions will all switch to distance learning. Attendance at public events will be limited to 10 people, and each worshipper at religious services will be reserved a space of seven square meters.

"The scale of the pandemic in two or three weeks will depend on our self-discipline," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said during a press conference. "Please remember that during the previous wave of the pandemic, things got better after only a few weeks."

In total, Poland has had 149,903 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 3,308 succumbing to the disease.

As the world is struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, countries including Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.