Poland re-imposes masks in 9 areas after record virus spike
Poland will re-impose compulsory face masks in all public spaces in nine districts, the health minister said on Thursday, as the number of coronavirus infections hit a new record.
The restrictions—which will also affect sports and cultural events in those areas, mainly in the south and east—will come into force from Saturday.
Face masks are currently obligatory in Poland in enclosed spaces such as shops and public transport, but not outdoors as long as distancing of at least 1.5 metres (five feet) is possible.
The biggest increase in infections has been in Silesia, an industrial region in southern Poland where coal mines have been particularly hard hit by the virus because of the difficulties in enforcing distancing measures.
"We need to wake up a bit," Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski told reporters, adding that Poland as a whole should be vigilant because of the spike in infections.
The health ministry on Thursday reported 726 new cases—the highest daily number recorded so far. There were also 18 deaths, bringing the total toll to 1,774.
There have also been several coronavirus cases among lawmakers in Warsaw in recent days, prompting the parliament to delay sessions until later in August.
© 2020 AFP