Poland will extend its strict border controls until 12 June due to the coronavirus pandemic, its Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
Poland closed its borders to foreigners in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus and has extended the restriction four times since then. Polish citizens, diplomats, foreigners with the legal right to live in Poland and foreign professional drivers can enter Poland at selected checkpoints.
While keeping borders closed, Poland is easing some other curbs imposed earlier. It has reopened shopping malls, hotels, outdoor playgrounds and allowed kindergartens to restart. The government is expected to announce on Wednesday the lifting of further restrictions on schools, restaurants and hairdressers.
Poland now has 17,062 confirmed coronavirus cases and 847 deaths. On Tuesday, the country saw its largest spike in new coronavirus cases in one day due to a rapid growth in infections among coal miners.
Meanwhile, Poland will reopen restaurants and hairdressers next Monday as it eases coronavirus-linked restrictions, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.
Poland, the largest economy of the European Union’s eastern members, started relaxing some of its curbs on public life in April. Earlier in May it allowed hotels, shopping centres and kindergartens to reopen.
“At least to some extent we have contained the epidemic, therefore we can gradually unfreeze the economy,” Morawiecki told a news conference, a day after Poland saw its largest rise in coronavirus cases in a single day.
Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski told reporters that the coronavirus reproduction rate had fallen below 1 in Poland, meaning that statistically speaking one infected person led to fewer than one new infections in other people.
Morawiecki also said that schools would partially reopen to provide day care for children in the first three years of primary school.