‘Like New Year’s Eve’: Polish bars celebrate midnight reopening

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Champagne corks popped at the stroke of midnight on Friday as bars and restaurants in Poland opened their outdoor terraces for the first time in over six months and many Poles went out to celebrate.

Bars and restaurants can now offer outdoor service, with indoor service due to reopen with limited capacity on May 28. Since October, they have been able to serve only take-away food.

Additionally, from Saturday Poles are no longer required to wear masks outside in places where they can observe social distancing.

“We’ve been closed for so long, over 200 days, and it was very stressful and exhausting for different reasons, we didn’t know if we could survive at all,” said Zuzia Mockallo, 34, co-owner of Bar Studio, located in the capital’s landmark building, the Palace of Culture and Science.

“I really feel that the emotions are a bit comparable to the New Year, where everyone has huge expectations of the old year ending and a new opening … We are very happy and a little excited, a little nervous, but very emotional.”