Poland to further ease Covid restrictions from June 13 and 26

Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference that ever more people are becoming fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the total number of vaccinations administered to date exceeding 23 million. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

From June 13 and 26, further loosening of anti-Covid-19 restrictions will come into force in Poland, with the latter date's rules applying throughout the summer holiday period, the prime minister announced on Thursday.

Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference that ever more people are becoming fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the total number of vaccinations administered to date exceeding 23 million.

He said that the existing vaccination infrastructure enables more vaccines to be administered than there are people signing up for the shots.

The prime minister outlined changes to the anti-Covid regime in force in the country.

"From June 13 we want to introduce changes, and from June 26 further ones, that will be binding throughout the holidays, or the whole of July and August," he said.

"In churches half of places can be occupied," he said, adding that this decision levels the conditions "in relation to some other institutions and those conditions that are binding in other places."

Most other loosening measures will come into force on June 26. The eventual lifting of all restriction will be dependent on the number of people vaccinated, Morawiecki added.

"In the coming days we're opening the National Stadium for the fan zone, because the European Championships are starting, of which Poland is a part, hopefully for as long as possible," Morawiecki continued. "We want to be able to enjoy it together, maintaining sanitary discipline.”

The prime minister warned, however, that the pandemic is not over and that sanitary rules still have to be observed. He pointed out that dangerous mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus remain to be tackled and appealed to the public to exercise caution and observe guidelines.

Morawiecki also highlighted the fact that more European countries are implementing various types of Covid certification "enabling easier gathering, participation in various types of meetings, events, concerts (living) in hotels and in the area of international tourism, and also in border control quarantine and testing will not be necessary..."

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski also announced on Thursday that clubs and discotheques would be allowed to function from June 26 with a limit of 150 people. He told a press conference that compared to other EU countries, the level of restriction easing in Poland was relatively high.

From June 26, trade fairs and conferences will be able to invite more people than under current rules, with the number of square metres per person reduced from 15 to 10. The same 10-square-metre-per-person rule will also apply to gyms and fitness clubs, casinos, retail premises, post offices, libraries, exhibitions and playgrounds.

Also, sports events and concerts in sports facilities will be able to admit up to 50 percent of the venue's capacity from June 26. For hotels and leisure facilities the occupancy limit will be raised to 75 percent, not including children under 12.

Niedzielski said that from this weekend, consumption of food and drink would be permitted in cinemas and theatres and that from June 26 the attendance limit in these venues would be raised to 75 percent of seating capacity.

The seating limit for restaurants and other eateries will also be raised to 75 percent from June 26, Niedzielski said, with the same limit applying to amusement parks, up from the previous 50 percent.

According to Niedzielski, all limits do not apply to people who have been fully vaccinated.