Poland announces new pandemic restrictions

World

Poland will introduce a batch of new sanitary restrictions in connection with the appearance of a new strain of the COVID-19 virus, the Polish health minister announced on Monday, according to news agency PAP.

Adam Niedzielski told a press conference that the new limitations were necessary to stem the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, said to have originated in South Africa.

Among the limitations, he named flight bans to seven countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which have been listed as high-risk countries by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Niedzielski said persons traveling to Poland from those countries and other non-Schengen states would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, even if they possessed a negative coronavirus test.

Niedzielski also announced new limits at large gatherings such as weddings, as well at cinemas, cultural institutions, churches, restaurants, sport facilities, swimming pools and aquaparks. Under the new restrictions, all of those institutions would be limited to 50% capacity instead of the present 75% ceiling, Niedzielski added.

He also said current personal restrictions in gyms, fitness centers, museums and gaming halls would be changed from one person per 10 sqm of space to one person per 15 sqm of space. Niedzielski said the new limits will be in force from December 1 to 17. 

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