Govt announces tighter restrictions in fight against COVID-19

Poland to introduce further restrictions due to epidemic Marcin Obara/PAP

The Polish government is introducing, for at least two weeks, further restrictions on trade and movement in connection with the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday.

"We want to be prepared to the growing number of infections, but we also want to curb and flatten the infection growth curve so as to avoid such situations as in Italy and Spain," the prime minister said, referring to the dramatic overflow of the healthcare system with coronavirus patients.

All shops selling building supplies are to be closed on weekends. Food stores will remain open but the number of customers will be limited to three per cash register. Each customer will have to put on disposable gloves before entering a store.

Everyone will have to keep a two-meter distance outside, applies even to family members, excluding small children and carers of the disabled.Kalbar/TFN

Access to parks and recreation places will be restricted.Kalbar/TFN

Additionally, from 10am to 12pm shops will be open only for people over 65 years of age. The same restriction will apply to drugstores and pharmacies.

Furthermore, all hairdressers, beauty salons, tattoo and piercings establishments will have to be closed, Morawiecki said.

All non-essential rehabilitation treatment will be cancelled, the prime minister announced.

Only two people per counter will be allowed inside post offices and up to three per open-air market stall.

Food stores will remain open but between 10am and 12pm food stores, drugstores and pharmacies will be open only for people over 65 years of age.Kalbar/TFN

The government has also decided to close hotels and other accommodation facilities, with the exception of places used as temporary hostels for employees, or for quarantine.

The quarantine formula will be expanded.

Service outlets and shops will be obliged to disinfect payment card terminals for each user, while petrol stations will need to sanitise fuel pump handles after each customer.

Access to parks and recreation places will be restricted and city bike rental points will be closed. Minors will be allowed in public space only in the company of an adult.

In workplaces, a distance of one and a half metres will have to be maintained and disinfection agents will have to be provided.

Passenger seating limits and stricter controls will be introduced for private carriers.Kalbar/TFN

Passenger seating limits and stricter controls will be introduced for private carriers.

Home quarantine rules will also be made stricter. The mandatory 14-day quarantine will apply to anyone returning from abroad or having contact with a coronavirus-infected person as well as all members of his or her household, if the quarantined person chooses to live with them.

Most of the new regulations come into force as of Wednesday, Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said.

Morawiecki said that the new restrictions will be in force for the next two weeks, with the possibility of extension.

Those who break the rules will face fines ranging from PLN 5,000 to PLN 30,000 ((EUR 1,102-6,614) and repeat offenders may even be handed prison sentences, Morawiecki added.