‘I’ll protect Poland’ vows PM as swathe of new coronavirus restrictions announced amid warnings of a “difficult time ahead”
All theatres, museums, galleries and most stores in shopping malls will have to close, and primary schooling will go online as part of new measures announced by the prime minister on Wednesday to counter Poland’s soaring coronavirus infection rate.
The measures, which will come into effect in the next few days, were announced just hours after the health ministry said the country had recorded daily records of 24,692 positive tests and 373 deaths.
“There is a very difficult time ahead of us,” Mateusz Morawiecki said at a press conference. “The response must be decisive. We will protect the health-care system and citizens, and restrictions are necessary.”
He added: “If this plan fails, then in a week or 10 days we will have a national quarantine, which will be very severe.”
Urging people to stay at home, Morawiecki said grades one to three in primary schools would start remote learning, while remote schooling for grades four to eight would be extended until the end of November.
Hotels will be open only for business travellers and shopping malls will be closed with the exception of food stores and pharmacies. The closures will come into force on Saturday and last until at least November 29.
Increased remote learning in primary schools will begin on Monday and continue until at least November 29.
Morawiecki said if the infection rate exceeds 70-75 per 100,000 residents, stricter national quarantine measures would be introduced.
If the number is in the 25-50 range per 100,000 a return to “red zone” rules would occur, if the infection rate stands at 10-25 per 100,000 a return to “yellow zone” rules will take place.
The prime minister added that in shops with an area less than 100 square metres, one person would be permitted per 10 square metres, and in larger shops, as currently, one person would be allowed per 15 square metres.
Morawiecki said Poland will provide support and extend current solutions to cover 25 economic sectors hit by the expanded pandemic restrictions.