Covid-19: Red alert for Poland

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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced new coroanvirus restrictions as coronavirus spreads in the country, with 70 percent of Poles now within the so-called “red zone” and the rest of the country in the “yellow zone”.

“We dealt with Covid-19 during spring, and we can also deal with it now, but we must be united,” said the Polish prime minister after his meeting with the government crisis management unit.

Morawiecki underlined that there is a sensible alternative to a total lockdown which involves imposing certain restrictions and expects citizens to abide by them. The government wants to limit the coronavirus’s reach, but also make sure that the economy remains running.

The head of the Polish government stated that the main recommendation is to stay at home and that people who can work from home should do so. He added that any unnecessary social contact should be limited.

The new restrictions in the so-called “yellow zone” require universities and high schools to turn towards a hybrid teaching system. Sports events will continue without the presence of an audience. Swimming pools, water parks and gyms will be closed. Only a total of 20 people will be able to attend wedding parties and social events and dance events will be forbidden.

The restrictions for the “red zone” will be much more severe. In shops, only up to five people will be allowed per cash register at a time. Universities and high schools will have to turn to online teaching, with the exclusion of practical classes. Cultural events will only be allowed to host 25 percent of public engagement.

Poland is currently 17th in Europe in terms of number of infections per 100,000 citizens, and 152 municipalities find themselves in the “red zone” in all 16 of Poland’s states.

Poland’s biggest cities, including Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków, Łódź, and Poznań will also be in the “red zone”.

“Combating the pandemic is our most important objective. All of our actions are subjected to that and every conversation resolves around it. There is nothing more important to the government than ensuring the safety and health of Poles,” Morawiecki stressed.

The press conference was conducted via video-call due to the prime minister being in quarantine after he came in contact with an infected person two days ago.

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