Opposition demands reopening of restaurants and schools, more vaccinations

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland's Civic Coalition opposition grouping has called for the reopening of the hotel and hospitality sectors, and the return of, at least, grades 1-3 to school.

The grouping also called for a reform of the vaccination system against Covid-19.

Robert Kropiwnicki, a Civic Coalition (KO) MP, said on Monday that hundreds of thousands of Polish entrepreneurs should be allowed to reopen businesses closed by lockdown restrictions.

"The hotel and restaurant industries are dying,” he said. “Thousands calling for help. No shield will help them anymore, they just want to go back to work."

"Let them operate under a strict sanitary regime, let there be restrictions, but they cannot remain closed," he added.

MP Marzena Okla-Drewnowicz (KO) drew attention to the situation in the education system. She said that the Law and Justice government had failed to put a strategy in place for the safe return of children to school.

"The winter break is ending and, today, teachers, parents, students and local government officials should know what is awaiting them," she said.

In her opinion, a safe return to school is possible. She added, this needed a plan but the government had failed to produce one because it had not consulted local government officials or teachers.

Jan Grabiec, spokesman for Civic Platform, the biggest party in the grouping, also attacked the national vaccination programme.

"Unfortunately, after the first two weeks of vaccinations in Poland, we can see that the government's strategy has failed," he said.

There were almost 1.2 million vaccines in Poland today, he claimed, but the government had used only about 200,000 of them.

"What about the remaining million?” asked Grabiec. “Why have almost a million vaccines not been used so far? Why are they in warehouses?"

He called on the government to reform the vaccination system by decentralizing it and using the potential of local governments.