Poland to bring in national COVID-19 restrictions

Poland will introduce COVID-19 restrictions on public life across the country this weekend, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski announced on Wednesday amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski seen on a screen during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski seen on a screen during a virtual press conference on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Niedzielski told reporters that restrictions already in force in four regions badly hit by the epidemic would be extended to cover the whole of Poland for three weeks from Saturday.

Hotels, cinemas, theatres and sports facilities will have to shut, while curbs will be imposed on shopping malls.

New infections highest this year

The new rules were announced after fresh coronavirus cases soared on Wednesday to the highest level this year.

Officials earlier in the day reported 25,052 new infections – almost 8,000 more than the same day last week – and 453 more deaths.

That brought Poland’s total number of cases during the pandemic to 1,956,974 and fatalities to 48,032.

On November 7, the Polish health ministry confirmed 27,875 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country last March.

Niedzielski said on Wednesday that the more contagious so-called British variant of the virus was spreading fast and now accounted for 52 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Poland.

More beds for COVID patients

He vowed that the number of coronavirus beds would be increased in hospitals.

He added that Polish province governors had been ordered to accelerate the transformation of hospital beds into beds for coronavirus patients.

Niedzielski also said young children across the country would return to remote classes for three weeks.

Schools and universities throughout Poland switched to distance learning last year. Then, following an easing of containment measures, the authorities reopened schools for most young children, though older pupils continued to attend classes online.
Coronavirus in Poland: A temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients in the southern city of Kraków.   Photo: PAP/Łukasz GągulskiCoronavirus in Poland: A temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients in the southern city of Kraków. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

Poland this week imposed a partial lockdown on two additional provinces amid a surge in the epidemic.

Restrictions came into force on Monday in the country’s central Mazowieckie region, which includes the national capital Warsaw, and in the western province of Lubuskie, where the level of infections has caused concern.

Earlier, a range of restrictions on public life were reintroduced in the northern Pomerania province and in the northeastern region of Warmińsko-Mazurskie.

(pk)

Source: PAP/IAR

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