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English Section

Poland to reopen preschools as virus lets up: health minister

14.04.2021 13:00
Poland will reopen nurseries and preschools at the start of next week, the country’s health minister announced on Wednesday, amid signs of a letup in the spread of the coronavirus, but added that most other COVID-19 restrictions would remain in place to help contain the third wave of the pandemic.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Wednesday.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Wednesday.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Nurseries and preschools will be able to welcome all their children back on April 19, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told a virtual news conference, adding that new infections in his country appeared to be trailing off.

Under previous rules, preschools across the country were only allowed to admit children of medics, soldiers, police and firefighters.

In another relaxation of partial lockdown rules, outdoor sports facilities across the nation will be allowed to reopen to the general public from April 19, though attendance at any one time will be limited to 25 people, Niedzielski said.

A host of other restrictions on public life, including the closure of indoor sports facilities, cinemas and many retail outlets, will remain in place until at least April 25 to help battle the coronavirus health crisis, he told reporters.

Indoor sports facilities nationwide will be closed to the general public, but remain available to professional athletes, according to officials.

Meanwhile, shopping malls will only be allowed to sell essential items, and hotels will remain closed until at least May 3, Niedzielski announced.

Poland on Wednesday reported 21,283 new coronavirus infections and 803 more deaths, its second-deadliest day on record, bringing the country's total number of cases during the pandemic to 2,621,116 and fatalities to 59,930.

The health ministry announced on Wednesday morning that a total of 33,906 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, including 3,457 of them on ventilators.

Hair salons, beauty parlours to remain shut

Poland at the end of last month imposed a range of stricter COVID-19 restrictions as officials reported record daily rises in infections and Niedzielski warned the country was "in a crisis situation."

According to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland was at the time experiencing its most difficult moment in the pandemic, with the public health service approaching the limits of its capacity to cope.

Under rules in place since March 27, large retail outlets and churches must admit fewer people.

Meanwhile, hair salons and beauty parlours remain off-limits, while large furniture and home improvement stores remain shut.

Strict rules on face masks

Under a set of coronavirus restrictions that took effect on February 27, Poles are not allowed to use scarves, bandanas and plastic visors instead of masks to cover their face in public.

Under restrictions announced in October, pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout the country remain closed and are only allowed to provide take-aways and delivery orders.

As of October 10, people must cover their mouths and noses when outdoors in public places as well as in most indoor environments nationwide.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info