Poland to start ‘cautious’ easing of coronavirus lockdown rules

A senior Polish official said on Wednesday that the government was planning to “very cautiously” relax a swathe of restrictions imposed on daily life amid a coronavirus outbreak.

Michał Dworczyk , pictured earlier this month

Michał Dworczyk , pictured earlier this month Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“This process will be conducted in a very cautious manner because it must be adapted to the current situation,” said Michał Dworczyk, the head of the Polish Prime Minister’s Office.

He added the government wanted to proceed in a manner “that can be described in a short sentence: as much freedom as possible, and as many restrictions as necessary.”

Dworczyk said that a number of countries in which the number of people ill with the coronavirus was higher than in Poland, such as Austria, the Czech Republic, France and Spain, were slowly lifting restrictions imposed to counter the epidemic.

Dworczyk did not give details of when Poland would lift restrictions.

Poland’s Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski said on Tuesday that the government would start “slowly unfreezing the economy” from April 19.

A total of 7,408 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease in Poland, with 268 deaths from the coronavirus so far, officials said on Wednesday morning.

The government has limited the operations of shopping malls and closed all pubs, clubs and entertainment venues.

Public gatherings of more than two people have been banned. Health and government officials have urged Poles to stay home and practice social distancing.

An initial two-week closure of the country’s schools has been extended until April 26.

The government at the end of last month announced tough new restrictions on daily life, banning children under 18 from leaving home unless supervised by an adult, closing parks and beaches, and ordering most hotels to shut. 

Poles will from Thursday have to wear face masks or scarves covering their nose and mouth when out in public.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP

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