Poland eases some Covid restrictions

Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Poland will allow cinemas, theatres, philharmonic halls and cultural institutions to open on May 21, earlier than previously expected, as coronavirus restrictions are being gradually eased, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced.

"We are accelerating the reopening of cinemas, theatres, philharmonics, cultural institutions ... by a week, to May 21," Morawiecki told a press conference on Wednesday.

The government has also moved the opening of fitness clubs, gyms and restaurants to May 28 from May 29.

The institutions will still be subject to visitor caps and will operate under a sanitary regime.

Earlier, the government announced that outdoor face-masking will be lifted on May 15. Masks will remain obligatory in closed areas and on public transport.

Morawiecki said that the Polish government will offer a one-off PLN 5,000 (EUR 1,101) bonus to non-medical personnel involved in the fight against Covid-19.

Morawiecki said the bonus will be applicable to people who have worked for at least 21 days "in a Covid area."

"We've decided to offer a one-off bonus, a one-off payment of five thousand zlotys," Morawiecki said. "Let it be some additional support for and acknowledgement of this very important part of the non-medical personnel."

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said the bonus will be paid in June.

Turning to Covid-19 inoculations, Morawiecki said that the government wants to start vaccinations of 16-17 year-olds soon.