Tatra National Park closed over virus threat

The lake Morskie Oko in the Tatra National Park. Jan Morek/PAP

Due to the threat of coronavirus, the authorities of the Tatra National Park (TNP) in southern Poland have taken the decision to close the facility to tourists from Friday, the park's directorate has announced.

The limitation does not affect residents of the Tatra region, the park's management said.

"In connection with the announcement of a state of epidemic threat in Poland and in response to an appeal by the prime minister and health minister to remain indoors during the period of threat, without leaving unnecessarily, to care for the health of all citizens we are forced to close the territory of the TNP until further notice," the national park's authorities wrote in a communique.

From March 13, all entry points to the TNP will be closed, Tatra boarding houses will not accept reservations and parking lots will be inactive at the entrance to hiking trails. Ski lifts will also be closed on the territory of the TNP.

Tourists have been cancelling their reservations in Tatra hotels during March and April and some hoteliers are placing staff on leave, the president of the Tatra Chamber of Commerce (TCC), Agata Wojtowicz, told PAP.

According to her, the hotel sector will especially lose out as a result of the coronavirus threat. "We're waiting for an announcement from the government of a package for businesspeople, because a worker is in some way protected while entrepreneurs from the hotel sector are not," she said. "It is a dramatic situation."