Health minister announces tighter controls at tourist destinations

Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said on Friday he had asked the Interior Ministry and the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) to increase controls at tourist destinations in Poland as well as in 'yellow' and 'red' districts where additional restrictions apply.

The Health Ministry announced on Thursday that it planned to introduce additional controls from Saturday in 19 districts with the highest increases in coronavirus infections (so-called yellow and red districts).

On Friday, Szumowski told Wirtualna Polska's 'Tlit' programme that stronger safety controls would be enforced in selected areas and that he had already discussed the issue with Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski and Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik.

"I have also asked Minister (Jaroslaw) Pinkas, the Chief Sanitary Inspector, to increase controls in these 'yellow' and 'red' districts as well as in the coastal belt and tourist sites, at least such things as behaviour in restaurants and shops," Szumowski said.

The health minister said that being on holiday does not free people from wearing masks in shops or keeping social distance in restaurants, nor did it absolve restaurateurs from keeping an appropriate distance between tables.

He admitted that the coastal belt did not show as high a rate of infection a might be expected, pointing out that people use wind shields at the beach and as such maintain a distance of 1.5m, in addition to which, he said, the Polish coast is generally windy.