Poland will reopen outdoor pools, non-essential stores, museums, art galleries, restaurants and terraces in the coming days, with the central European country registering fewer cases of the coronavirus.
The relaxed rules, which are expected to be in effect from Saturday, when more sporting activities are allowed, come as recent figures give rise to “cautious optimism,” the prime minister said, outlining plans for the reopening of the economy.
“The data we receive on infections allows us to make decisions related to the thaw in the economy,” Mateusz Morawiecki said during a press briefing Wednesday with Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski. “These data justify such cautious optimism.”
Stores in malls, DIY and furniture stores will open from Tuesday, with social distancing rules in place, Morawiecki said.
Hotels are due to reopen on May 8, at 50% occupancy, while restaurant and café terraces can do so a week later.
Cinemas, theaters and indoor restaurants can open on May 29, also when students of all ages can return to class.
“Probably, when it comes to infections, the worst is behind us, but we must also remember that around 25,000 people are still hospitalized,” said the Prime Minister. “A return to normal depends mainly on the vaccination rate,” he added.
Poland has recorded 8,895 coronavirus cases and 636 deaths linked to Covid-19 as well as underlying conditions, the latest figures released on Wednesday showed. More than 10 million Poles have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or around 21% of the population.
The third wave of the coronavirus hit the healthcare system particularly hard in March and April, pushing it closer to its limits as Poland went through its most difficult days in the pandemic. The more infectious B.1.1.7 strain of the virus first detected in the UK caused the outbreak, accounting for 90% of new cases in the country.