New Polish Covid-19 Restrictions Announced (4/11)
The following is a google translation of a tvn24 article on new government restrictions announced by the Prime Minister today (4th Nov. 2020). The original article (in Polish) can be found here.
New Restrictions Announced
Closing most of the stores in shopping malls, changes in calculating the limits of people in stores, closing cinemas and limiting the activities of hotels. These are new restrictions, the introduction of which was announced by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday 24,692 new cases of coronavirus infection in Poland. The ministry also informed about the death of 373 people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2. This is the highest daily balance of infections and deaths since the beginning of the epidemic.
In total, in Poland, infection was confirmed in 439,536 people, of whom 6,475 died.
Due to the growing number of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the introduction of new restrictions. – Further restrictions are necessary – emphasized the head of government. They are to enter into force this Saturday, November 7, and will be in force at least until November 29.
– cinemas, theaters, museums, art galleries will be closed,
– hotel facilities will be available only to guests on business trips,
– changes in calculating the limits of people in shops, 1 person per 10 square meters in outlets with an area of up to 100 square meters,
– shops in shopping malls will be closed, except for grocery stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores and service outlets.
Currently, all of Poland is covered by the red zone. This means that in stores in commercial premises it is obligatory to wear gloves or to disinfect hands and cover the mouth and nose.
There is also a limit of people allowed to stay in retail outlets and at the post office. Restrictions depend on the size of the facility. For a facility with an area of up to 100 square meters, the limit is 5 people per 1 cash desk / stand, and for more than 100 square meters – 1 person per 15 square meters.
From Monday to Friday, from 10.00 to 12.00, only people over 60 are allowed to stay in the store, drugstore, pharmacy and post office. The exception is when the release of a medicinal product, medical device or foodstuff for particular nutritional uses takes place in a situation of threat to life or health. In addition, the so-called hours for seniors do not apply to wholesalers and commercial establishments operating in schools or educational institutions.
The restaurant is forbidden to operate. It is only possible to carry out services consisting in the preparation and serving of food to go and with delivery.
Moreover, the activity of swimming pools, aquaparks and gyms is suspended.
The appeal of entrepreneurs
Even before the conference of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, trade unions and employers’ organizations appealed to the government not to introduce a second lockdown.
“The Polish economy is still struggling with the very serious consequences of the first closure, and the restoration of such far-reaching restrictions would inevitably lead to numerous bankruptcies and job losses” – we can read in the statement of the entrepreneurs’ organizations associated in the Entrepreneurship Council.
POSITION OF THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP COUNCIL
According to entrepreneurs, Poland will have to deal with a very significant epidemic threat for many months to come. Therefore, in their opinion, “it will be impossible to maintain the lockdown for such a long period – considering, inter alia, the fact that the spring anti-crisis packages themselves posed a very serious challenge for public finances.”
“Therefore, it is necessary to implement solutions minimizing the risk of infections, thus protecting the efficiency of the health care system, while maintaining the possibility of running a business” – emphasized in the statement.
On Tuesday, the unions and the employers’ side of the Social Dialogue Council also made a similar appeal to the government . They asked “not to close the economy, to refrain from further restrictions on the operation of the production, trade or service sectors”. At the same time, the social partners called on “all employees and employers to maintain basic sanitary guidelines to reduce the risk of infection.”
Estimated losses of the Polish economy
With estimates of the Federation of Polish Entrepreneurs that under the current restrictions Polish economy loses every day more than 420 million. Losses from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic have been calculated at nearly PLN 125 billion.