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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Malls in Poland reopen as some COVID-19 rules eased

01.02.2021 09:10
Shopping malls around Poland reopened on Monday under a partial easing of government coronavirus restrictions.
Image: StockSnapPixabay
Image: StockSnap/Pixabay Pixabay licence

The relaxation, announced last week amid signs of a let-up in the spread of COVID-19, also allows museums and art galleries to admit visitors again, though with health regulations in place.

But most restrictions introduced by the authorities in an effort to curb the epidemic will remain in place until February 14.

Some gyms, restaurants and other businesses whose owners say they face bankruptcy have announced they will open too on Monday, in defiance of the rules.

'Very slow return to normality'

Announcing the plans to allow more shoppers back into malls, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Thursday: "This is a step that we are taking cautiously in order to allow a gradual, very slow return to normality.”

He told reporters that the epidemic in Poland "seems to be stabilized at the moment.”

Polish officials on Sunday reported 4,706 new coronavirus infections and 98 more deaths, bringing the country’s total number of cases during the pandemic to 1,513,385 and fatalities to 37,180.

On November 25, the country reported its highest daily toll of 674 deaths related to the coronavirus.

On November 7, the Polish health ministry confirmed 27,875 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.

Poland at the end of December 28 went into what Niedzielski at the time described as a "national quarantine" as it stepped up its efforts to contain the coronavirus.

Non-essential stores and hotels were told to close, and a 10-day quarantine requirement was imposed on anyone arriving in the country by public transport.

Poland on January 18 reopened schools for young children after a prolonged period of distance learning.

Meanwhile, a host of other restrictions on public life were extended.

(pk/gs)