New epidemic laws come into force on Saturday

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

The Polish government has imposed new restrictions, which have come into force on Saturday, October 17, in order to "save the health and lives of the Polish people."

The government is ready to introduce more restrictions if such need arises.

Under the new epidemic laws, opening hours of restaurants and cafes have been changed, swimming pools, aquaparks, gyms and fitness centres and massage salons have been closed, and travel by public transport has been limited to 50 percent of seating capacity or 30 percent of total capacity.

Cafes and restaurants in both 'yellow' and 'red' zones will stay open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm., after 9:00 pm they will only sell takeaway food and beverages.

There is a 25-percent cap on audiences at all cultural events and the public is banned from sporting events.

From October 15, shops, pharmacies and post offices in Poland are reserved for senior citizens of the age of 60 and older between 10:00 a.m. and noon.

On Monday further restrictions will ban large private gatherings. In 'yellow' zones, a maximum of 20 people will be allowed to attend wedding parties and other receptions. In 'red' zones, there will be a ban on such events.

Middle and high schools will be taught remotely.

The red zone covers 152 counties, including 11 province capital cities, among others, Warsaw, Gdansk, Gdynia, Krakow, Poznan and Lodz.