Poland imposes tougher pandemic measures

Paweł Supernak/PAP

Beauty salons and large-format DIY and furniture outlets will close as part of tough new lockdown measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, the government announced on Thursday.

Poland is experiencing a dramatic surge in infections with a record 34,151 new cases reported on Thursday along with a further 520 deaths. Health authorities also carried out a record 102,579 coronavirus tests.

Underlining the seriousness of the situation, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, said the government had not ruled out introducing a state of emergency if infections fail to fall over the next two-three weeks.

He also appealed to Poles to restrict their movements and work from home where possible, adding that the entire public administration will be working remotely in the coming two weeks.

From March 27 to April 9 all barber, hairdressing and beauty salons, large-format furniture and DIY stores, kindergartens and creches will be closed.

Exempted from lockdown restrictions in kindergartens and creches will be the children of medical staff, soldiers, policemen and firefighters.

Shopping centres and malls will remain closed with the exception of food markets, pharmacies, press kiosks and bookshops.

Movement will also be restricted in shops, in public markets and in post offices.

One person per 15 sqm will be allowed in shops up to 100 sqm, and one per 20 sqm in shops with a bigger floorage.

Only one person per 20 sqm will be permitted in churches and on other religious sites. Current face-mask rules and social distancing laws will remain in force, the office said.

Sport facilities will remain open only for professional competitors and events. All events will be closed to the public.

All hotels will remain closed with the exception of worker hostels and for the accommodation of medical staff, professional drivers and soldiers. Also closed will be all cinemas, theatres, art galleries, museums, gyms, fitness clubs, ski slopes, swimming pools, saunas and solariums, the prime minister’s office said.