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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland to reopen schools for young children Jan. 18: health minister

11.01.2021 17:30
Poland will reopen schools for young children at the start of next week, the country’s health minister said on Monday, but added that other COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place as the pandemic persists.
Audio
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Children in grades 1 to 3 of elementary education will be able to return to on-site learning on January 18, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told a virtual news conference.

A host of restrictions on public life, including the closure of hotels, ski slopes and many retail outlets, will remain in place until at least January 31 although the epidemic appears to have moderated, he said.

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Poland on December 28 entered a three-week "national quarantine" as it stepped up its efforts to contain the coronavirus.

Hotels and non-essential stores were told to close until at least January 17, and a 10-day quarantine requirement was imposed on anyone arriving in the country by public transportation.

That latest set of curbs came after tougher measures to battle COVID-19 took effect across the country in November following a surge in cases amid a second wave of the pandemic.

As part of those restrictions, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries and gyms were told to close temporarily.

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

Gatherings of more than five people are forbidden, though people who live or work together are exempt from the rule.

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

COVID-19 tests for teachers

The country on Monday began testing teachers for COVID-19 ahead of a planned return to normal classes in the early grades of elementary school.

After a brief period of being open to students, schools and universities throughout the country last fall switched to distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed over 31,000 people nationwide.

A two-week school winter break started across the country on January 4. It runs until January 17.

Teachers are among priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination as the country rolls out its inoculation effort. Frontline healthcare workers are first in line for the shots.

Poland on Monday reported 4,622 new coronavirus infections and 75 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 1,390,385 and fatalities to 31,264.

(gs)

Source: IAR, TVP Info

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