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Saturday, August 20 2022

Poland tightens Covid restrictions to combat Omicron variant

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Warsaw: The Polish government has announced new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 infections in face of the proliferation of the new Omicron variant.

“The situation has stabilized,” Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said at a press conference on Tuesday December 7, “and the number of infections is close to the level of a week ago. If those numbers remain as they are and are not reduced, it is a serious threat to the health system.”

According to the Health Ministry, from December 15, restaurants, bars and hotels can only host 30 per cent of their capacity unless patrons can show proof of vaccination using a QR (quick response) code. Such checks must be carried out by the businesses themselves, Xinhua news agency reported.

From the same date, dance halls and nightclubs will be obliged to shut down entirely, and public transport will only run at 75 per cent capacity. New Year parties will be allowed but the number of attendees will be limited to 100.

Starting March 1 next year, certain professions will be obliged to vaccinate against Covid. These include health workers, teachers and uniformed servicemen, such as police and army personnel.

Unvaccinated travellers entering Poland from outside the Schengen zone will have to be tested for coronavirus. Those testing positive will be required to quarantine.

Poland has been reporting around 20,000 new infections and around 500 coronavirus-related deaths per day since the middle of November.

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