Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski declared that the pandemic situation in Poland has stabilized, and the average number of infections has maintained a level of 23,000 per day for the last week and a half.
He pointed out, however, that there has been no clear decrease in worrying pandemic statistics and warned that the new Omicron variant has raised risk levels.
“One measure on which we have recently agreed on is the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for selected working groups. Following the example of Germany and Austria, we are planning to introduce obligatory vaccinations for three groups starting March 1, 2022: the health services, teachers and uniformed services,” Niedzielski stated.
He added that the period until March was the one in which the vaccinations should be completed, as mandatory vaccinations will be a requirement for work after March 1.
Moreover, the minister announced that new security measures will be introduced in Poland starting Dec. 15, 2021, due to the pandemic situation.
There will be a change to how Covid certificates are being used and will be accompanied by a lowering of restrictions down to 30 percent of capacity. Limits on people able to attend restaurants, bars, hotels, cinemas, theaters, and sporting areas will be down to 30 percent of capacity. Public transport will have a limit of 75 percent.
Additionally, all discos, clubs and dance studios will be closed starting Dec. 15 and obligatory coronavirus tests will be imposed on people living in the same house as the infected, regardless of whether they have a Covid certificate or not.
Rapid increase in vaccinations in November
November was the first month in Poland which saw a rapid increase of first-round vaccinations following a period of stagnation after the summer holidays, according to health ministry data. This is also visible when compared to October data in which a first jab was taken by 409,553 people compared to 602,669 people in November.
Close to 21 million people in Poland have taken a single dose of the vaccine (as of Dec. 6) and there are over 20.5 million people who are fully vaccinated – more than 47 percent of adult Poles have been fully vaccinated (Poland is 23rd in the EU in this regard).
A record number of daily vaccinations in Poland took place on June 3 when 625,000 people got vaccinated. Interest in vaccinations began to drop in the second half of the summer holidays and this situation was not improved by competitions for the most vaccinated municipalities or advertisement campaigns in media.
Nevertheless, the data for the last two months has shown that some unvaccinated Poles have begun to respond to the tragic consequences of the fourth coronavirus wave, as well as the introduction of restrictions for unvaccinated people in some European countries like Germany, Austria or Czechia.