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English Section

Polish athletes flown home as virus grips Europe

19.03.2020 06:00
Several prominent Polish athletes have thanked the country’s government for bringing them home in special planes after borders shut across Europe amid coronavirus fears.
Paweł Fajdek.
Paweł Fajdek.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Four-time hammer-throw world champion Paweł Fajdek praised the Polish prime minister and sports minister in a video message as a Boeing 737 plane chartered by the government was taking him and others to Warsaw from Lisbon earlier this week.

In the message, shared via social media, Fajdek said: “We would like to thank our sports minister …. and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for putting together this project to ensure a safe return home for us.”

His words were followed by a round of applause from fellow passengers on board the plane operated by Polish national airline LOT.

Javelin thrower Maria Andrejczyk echoed the thanks, saying Polish athletes on a training camp in Portugal were stranded after flights were canceled, the tabloid Super Express reported.

“We didn't know if we’d be able to return home,” she said, as quoted by the paper.

Some 30,000 Poles around the world are still waiting to return from abroad as the government conducts a massive operation to fly them home amid the coronavirus epidemic, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported on Wednesday.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week that flights operated by Poland’s state-run LOT airline would be made available to those who want to come home but are stuck in various parts of the world amid the coronavirus chaos.

All Polish citizens returning from abroad are being placed under a 14-day quarantine after crossing the border.


Source: TVP, sport.se.pl, gazetawroclawska.pl