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Poland loosens coronavirus lockdown

20.04.2020 08:00
Poland has eased its coronavirus lockdown for the first time, though COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay Pixabay License

Under new rules that came into force on Monday, more customers are allowed into shops, while parks and forests have reopened to the public.

In another change, children above 13 can move around in public without being in the company by an adult. Until Monday, young people under 18 were allowed outdoors only when accompanied.

But Poles still have to wear face masks or scarves in public and keep their distance from others.

Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced the easing of the lockdown last week.

He added that a swathe of restrictions imposed to curb the epidemic would be relaxed in four stages, but the timing would depend on the progress of the disease.

As of Monday, shops of up to 100 square metres can serve four customers per till at any one time, while larger stores are allowed to have one customer per 15 square metres. The latter rule also applies to people in churches.

Coronavirus cases in Poland rose by a record 545 on Sunday, the biggest daily increase since the country’s first COVID-19 infection was confirmed in early March.

A total of 9,287 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 illness in Poland, with 360 deaths from the coronavirus so far, officials said on Sunday afternoon.

Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski has warned Poles that they will have to continue wearing face masks in public until a vaccine against COVID-19 is developed.