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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

30,000 Poles abroad sign up for special flights home: FM

16.03.2020 16:25
Poland’s foreign minister said on Monday that some 30,000 travellers who want to return from abroad have registered with national carrier LOT for special flights chartered by the government amid a coronavirus outbreak.
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz at a press conference on Monday
Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz at a press conference on Monday Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Poland suspended scheduled international air connections on Sunday. The government is chartering special flights to help bring Polish citizens home.

Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters after a meeting of a government crisis management team on Monday afternoon that the Polish authorities were focusing on helping Poles return from countries including Norway, Vietnam, Thailand, Greece and the Dominican Republic.

Around 1,400 Poles returned home on Sunday, while on Monday some 4,000 in total were expected to fly back from Tbilisi, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Reykjavik, Larnaca in Cyprus, as well as from Malta, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

On Tuesday, chartered flights were expected to bring Poles back from Malta, Colombo in Sri Lanka, London, Malaga in Spain, Tbilisi, Dublin and Larnaca.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared on Saturday: “Poland will help its citizens come back home.”

Poland has declared a state of "epidemic emergency" and temporarily closed its borders to non-residents on Sunday as it ramps up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski said on Monday that the number of infections in Poland had risen to 156. He added that around 800 people were in hospital and some 8,000 were in quarantine. Three people in Poland have died from the virus.

(pk)

Source: IAR