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English Section

Malls close as Poland battles COVID-19

28.12.2020 07:40
Tougher new restrictions came into force in Poland on Monday as the country battles the coronavirus, with shopping malls and ski slopes ordered to close for three weeks.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Pixabay licence

Under rules aiming to curb an epidemic that has claimed over 27,000 lives in Poland, anyone arriving in the country on organized transport until January 17 will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Shopping centres will not be allowed to open for the next three weeks, though grocery stores and pharmacies are among shops that are exempt.

Poland started administering vaccinations on Sunday, with the head nurse of a hospital run by the interior ministry in Warsaw the first person in the country to receive a shot.

The latest batch of restrictions were announced in the run-up to the winter school break, when many Polish families usually head off with their children on skiing holidays.

New Year's Eve curfew cancelled

On Sunday, meanwhile, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that a curfew would not be imposed for New Year's Eve. Previously, restrictions on free movement had been planned between 7pm on December 31 and 6am on January 1. Nonetheless, Morawiecki appealed for people to stay at home.

The country plans to spend PLN 3 billion (EUR 675m, USD 820m) on over 60 million doses of vaccines under a national inoculation programme adopted by the government earlier this month.

Morawiecki has described the initiative as the largest logistics operation in Poland in decades.

Priority is being given to healthcare staff, followed by residents in nursing homes, people over 60, police, soldiers and teachers.

Poles who are not in priority groups will be able to sign up for COVID-19 shots from January 15. Morawiecki said he would sign up himself the same day.

The prime minister’s chief of staff, Michał Dworczyk, said that early next year batches of 300,000 vaccines would arrive in Poland every week.

The health ministry on Sunday reported 3,678 fresh infections and 57 more deaths.

(pk)

Source: PAP