On Thursday, the Polish government presented the next stage of “defrosting” the country’s economy, which includes opening restaurants, barber shops and allowing more passengers on public transport.
Starting on May 18, restaurants, cafes, and bars will be allowed to reopen under new sanitary rules. These include an at least 1.5 metre distance between tables, and using only dispensable dishes and cutlery. All flowers, spices or napkins will have to be removed from tables. Hand sanitizer will have to be used by each guest entering any such place. Cooks and waiters will have to wear face masks and gloves.
A two-metre distance and the obligation to cover one’s face in public places will remain in force, also in queues in front of restaurants and bars.
From Monday, Poles will also be able to make appointments at barbers and beauticians. Both the client and the barber will have to have their nose and mouth covered.
Artistic rehearsals will be allowed to take place, outdoor cinemas and drive-in theatres will be allowed to open.
Under the new regulations, volunteers and those closest to people who live alone will be able to help them, as previously it was not clear if this was allowed. The government is also planning to allow couples who do not live together to be able to see each other legally, as all restrictions are intended to apply to meetings of more than two people.
Schools to remain restricted until June 7
A regulation restricting Polish schools will extend the limitations until June 7, Education Ministry spokesperson Anna Ostrowska said on Thursday.
Classes were cancelled in Polish schools from March 12 with schooling since then performed by distance learning under social distancing rules introduced to stem the spread of coronavirus. Kindergartens and nursery schools were allowed to re-open from May 6 under restriction-easing measures.
The spokeswoman added that from May 18, care and educational classes for children in years one to three would be permitted and teacher consultations will be possible individually or in small groups for year-eight and matriculation exam students.