Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday urged citizens against travelling during Christmas holidays as countries across Europe witness rise in COVID-19 cases due to a second wave of novel coronavirus infections. The 52-year-old Law and Justice Party leader extended a spate of coronavirus restrictions but allowed shops to reopen.
Addressing a press conference Morawiecki advised citizens against making trips and said, "Please do not plan any trips," adding that the government was looking at ways of imposing movement restrictions.
Morawiecki said theatres, bars and restaurants would remain closed until after Christmas, and schools would continue to be on distance learning.
"The situation is still very serious," he said, voicing concern about Poland's high death rate but pointing out that the number of new cases had stabilised.
The health ministry on Saturday reported 574 deaths over 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 13,288.
The number of new daily infections in Poland was 24,213.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Poland over the past week has been the third highest in the EU after Italy and France, according to an AFP tally.
Morawiecki urged Poles to continue following the rules over a period he called "100 days of solidarity", saying that at the end of it "it is highly likely that a vaccine will be available".
"Whether Poland will be able to find itself able to adopt less stringent restrictions will depend on whether or not Poles obey the rules," Morawiecki said.
Under the new measures announced on Saturday, eateries, gyms and entertainment venues will stay closed until at least December 27, while shopping malls will be allowed to re-open fully from November 27.