COVID-19: Gov’t introduces new restrictions amid Omicron mutation spread

Due to the emergence of the new Omicron mutation of SARS-CoV-2, the Polish government has introduced a restriction alert package, including, among others, banning flights to seven African countries and changes to occupancy limits.

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The new regulations will enter into force from December 1 and will last at least until December 17.

“We are following the recommendations of the European Infection Control Agency (ECDC). We hereby ban flights to 7 countries that are recommended, i.e. Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe,” said Health Minister Adam Niedzielski during the press conference.

He stressed that “people who will be returning from these countries - regardless of the route - will have an extended quarantine of up to 14 days.”

“In this case, it is not possible to be released from this quarantine by a test,” the minister added.

New occupancy limits

“In all those facilities where we have so far had a 75 percent occupancy limit - I would like to remind you that this limit does not pertain to vaccinated people - the limit will be reduced to 50 percent. This applies to gastronomy, hotels, and cultural institutions such as cinemas, theatres, operas, philharmonics, cultural centres, concerts, circus performances, churches and sports facilities, such as swimming pools and water parks,” the minister announced.

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The limit of people at meetings and celebrations, such as weddings and club parties, which could currently host 150 people, will be changed - the new limit is 100 people.

There will also be greater restrictions on the participation of the audience in sports events organised outside sports venues - the number will be reduced from 500 to 250 people.

Greater restrictions will also include gyms. “Until now, in facilities such as gyms, clubs, fitness centres, museums, gambling centres - where we had a limit of 1 person per 10 square metres, we are now increasing this limit to 15 square metres,” the health minister noted.

Despite the time framework being already set out, Mr Niedzielski stated that “if the situation deteriorates sharply, then, of course, decisions can be made overnight.”