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Poland to extend int’l air travel ban until June 6

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Poland will extend the ban on international air connections until June 6, and on domestic flights until May 31, the Polish Press Agency reported Friday, citing documents of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

“Due to the epidemic in the Republic of Poland, it is necessary to extend the period of air traffic bans for a further 14 days for international flights and a further 8 days for domestic flights,” said the new regulation prepared by the ministry.

The draft provides that the regulation will enter into force on May 24. It now awaits the signature of the prime minister.

The current regulation of the Council of Ministers on the suspension of all flights will expire on May 23.

(XINHUA)

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Poland to reopen gyms, theaters as over 22,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed

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The Polish government announced on Wednesday further easing of anti-coronavirus restrictions, as the country reported 399 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection over the past 24 hours.

According to the government, starting from Saturday, Poles will no longer have to wear masks outdoors and indoors if the social-distancing rules can be observed. But mask wearing is still required on public transport.

Also starting from Saturday, the limits of customers in shops and restaurants will be lifted, with people still being required to wear mask unless at a restaurant table.

Fitness clubs, cinemas, theaters, and amusement parks, which have remained closed for two months, will be allowed to reopen on June 6, but will have to follow a strict sanitary regime.

Wedding services and family celebrations will be allowed for up to 150 people from June 6 with no face mask requirement.

With 300 to 400 new cases discovered on a daily basis, the curve shows no signs of flattening in Poland. So far, 22,473 people have been infected with the coronavirus and 1,028 patients succumbed to the coronavirus-caused disease.

Silesia, a southern region known for its mining industry, has been hit hardest in the country, with miners especially prone to infection.

JSW, a major coal producer in Poland, has reported nearly 1,700 confirmed cases on its premises alone.

(XINHUA)

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Poland to allow larger gatherings

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Poland will allow public gatherings of up to 150 people and no longer require residents to cover their mouth and nose in open spaces, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Wednesday.

Face masks will still be required in enclosed spaces as well as during gatherings if a required 2-metre distance between participants cannot be kept.

The latest slew of coronavirus restrictions to be eased includes scrapping limits of customers in retail stores, bars and restaurants as well as the limit of worshippers during religious services.

Hotel bars and restaurants may reopen.

Poland, as of June 6, will allow the reopening of cinemas, operas and theatres but only every second seat in the auditoriums can be occupied.

Swimming pools and fitness clubs could also reopen on June 6, though weddings of up to 150 people will be allowed, discos and night clubs would remain closed.

“Poland is also working on a plan to allow some fans to return to football stadiums,’’ Morawiecki said without providing details.

Poland has so far recorded 22,303 novel coronavirus cases and 1,025 virus-related fatalities.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Poland apologises after PM fails to observe virus rules

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A Polish government spokesman on Monday apologised for Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s failure to observe coronavirus-related social distancing rules in a cafe.

On Friday, Morawiecki posted a tweet showing him sitting at a table with the owners of a cafe in the Silesia region.

They were in close proximity to one another without wearing face masks.

According to the regime put in place after the country’s restaurants were allowed to reopen recently, only families and people who live together are allowed to share a table.

The prime minister’s tweet triggered criticism and mockery.

“The prime minister was misinformed by his staff and for that, I wanted to apologise,” government spokesman Piotr Mueller said.

Poland has been gradually lifting coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks as the number of new cases detected each day remains stable at several hundred.

So far the country has recorded over 21,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and almost 1,000 virus-related fatalities.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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People visit Warsaw Zoo park amid COVID-19 outbreak in Poland

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Photo taken on May 23, 2020 shows a meerkat in Warsaw Zoo park in Warsaw, Poland. Warsaw Zoo, which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened on May 20. (Xinhua/Zhou Nan)

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Poland’s presidential elections planned for June 28

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The Polish government plans to hold presidential elections on June 28 as a later date is precluded due to the expiry date of the current presidential term, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

“We want to fulfil our constitutional obligations and conduct these elections in line with the constitution and today we plan to do that on June 28,” Morawiecki was quoted by the Polish Press Agency as saying.

“A later date would not be indicated because afterwards, on August 6, the president’s term ends and later dates that result from the law would mean that announcing the final results or approval of the elections by the Supreme Court would stretch beyond the deadline,” he said.

On the matter of when the State Electoral Commission (PKW) would publish a resolution concerning the elections, the prime minister said analysis were being conducted as to the best time to publish such a resolution.

The PKW stated that in presidential elections scheduled for May 10 there was no possibility to vote and that the Sejm (lower house of the parliament) speaker would announce a new date within 14 days of the resolution being published.

(XINHUA)

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Poland reopens restaurants, bars, cafes, hair salons under rules enforced by sanitary authorities

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A waiter wearing a face shield serves coffee in Warsaw, Poland, on May 18, 2020. As the third phase of lifting restrictions, Poland has reopened restaurants, bars, cafes and hair salons on Monday under rules enforced by the sanitary authorities. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/Xinhua)

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Poland reopens restaurants, bars, hair salons as virus rules ease

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Poland will reopen restaurants, cafes, bars, food courts and beauty salons on Monday, another step in easing coronavirus restrictions.

All reopened facilities will have to adhere to a sanitary regime and observe social-distancing measures.

A limit of one patron per 4 square metres will be introduced in restaurants, bar and cafes.

Nonetheless, it is an easing after weeks in which only take-out and food delivery service were allowed.

Hair salon clients will have to make appointments to avoid crowds in waiting rooms.

Indoor sports halls will reopen on Monday, with a limit on the number of people allowed to enter.

Limits will be increased on the number of people who can use outdoor sport facilities and travel by public transport.

At the weekend, Poland already increased the number of people who can participate in religious services and lifted the obligation to undergo mandatory quarantine for cross border commuters, who pursue medical professions.

In the upcoming stages of lifting coronavirus restrictions, Poland plans, among other things, to allow a partial reopening of schools.

Social-distancing measures as well as an obligation to wear face covering in public are still in place.

To date, Poland recorded more than 18,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and over 900 virus-related fatalities.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Visitors tour National Museum in Warsaw in Poland

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Visitors tour the National Museum in Warsaw which has reopened amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Warsaw, Poland, May 16, 2020. The National Museum in Warsaw has reopened to public visitors on May 12 after being closed for two months due to COVID-19. (Xinhua/Zhou Nan)

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Poland’s main opposition party changes presidential candidate

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Poland’s main opposition party Civic Platform (PO) on Friday chose Rafal Trzaskowski to replace Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska as new presidential candidate after Kidawa-Blonska announced her quit from Poland’s presidential elections to be held later in the year.

Aged 48, Trzaskowski is the current mayor of Warsaw.

The change comes a nearly week after the elections originally scheduled for May 10 being postponed. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) accused the PO of falsely citing health reasons of the COVID-19 pandemic and democratic standards to force the postponement.

Incumbent Polish President Andrzej Duda, a former MEP and staunch supporter of PiS and its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, was polling well among the likely voters. Opinion polls suggested a result of over 50 percent in favor of Duda in the first round if the elections took place as normal, as a large part of opposition supporters had declared that they would not take part in a vote conducted entirely by post, which the government tried to push through. A result above 50 percent would see Duda reelected outright.

More recent polls, however, showed Duda dipping below 50 percent again, making a runoff with the second-placed candidate likely. The new date for the elections has not been announced, but are speculated at the end of June or in early July.

(XINHUA)

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