New map of coronavirus restrictions. Warsaw likely to join yellow zone soon
Due to the latest series of spikes in coronavirus infections in Poland, the Ministry of Health on Thursday updated the map of restrictions. The list consists of 44 counties and 7 cities with county rights that have been marked either a yellow or red zone. 17 of them, including the town of Sopot, have been marked red, whereas 34, including Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin, Kielce and Rzeszów, have been marked yellow. The capital city of Warsaw is on the list of places likely to have coronavirus restrictions tightened soon. The changes become effective on Saturday (Oct.3).
The latest announcement, issued on September 30, lists "restrictions, requirements and prohibitions imposed due the state of epidemic". Furthermore, the ministry issued a map showing 44 counties and 7 cities with county rights marked either as yellow or red zone. The latest changes were confirmed by the health ministry at a press conference on Thursday.
"Situation becomes serious"
"Unfortunately, I don't have good news. The situation becomes serious. We have 51 counties on the restriction list at the moment. 17 counties are 'red', and 34 are 'yellow'" - said Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska at a press conference on Thursday.
Kraska also said from the next week on the criteria of assigning cities and counties to yellow and red zones would be tightened. "The change will pertain mainly to a reference value of a three-day correction factor, which at the moment equals 1,5" - Kraska explained.
"For counties with population density higher than 1500 people per square kilometre, a switch from the red category to yellow, or from yellow to green, will only be possible if the number of infections within the last three days is lower than 1, whereas for counties with population density lower than 1500 people per square kilometre - 1,2" - Kraska said. He added that this correction rate was unfavourable for big cities, as due to high number of residents they were much more likely to be marked yellow or red.
Kraska also said that the announced restrictions within yellow and red zones, including those pertaining to weddings, would become effective starting October 15.
Another record on Friday
Poland's daily coronavirus cases topped 2,000 for the first time on Friday, the latest record in a surge in infections that has raised the possibility that the government will have to bring forward the introduction of new restrictions.
Having weathered the first wave of the pandemic better than most western European neighbours, Poland has seen daily infection rates spike, with more than 1,000 new cases each day over the last week.
The country of 38 million reported 2,292 daily coronavirus cases and 27 deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, the health ministry's Twitter account said. In total, Poland has reported 95,773 cases of the coronavirus and 2,570 deaths.
"We should be prepared for the fact that the number of new cases in the near future will remain in the range of 1,500 up to 2,000, or maybe even 2,500 or more cases," health ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz told state run news agency PAP.
Poland on English quarantine list
Travellers arriving in England and Scotland from Turkey and Poland will have to self-isolate for 14 days from early on Saturday, officials said as they expanded their COVID-19 quarantine lists.
Data from Poland showed a rising rate of positive tests alongside a rapid increase in cases while Turkey has been defining the number of new COVID-19 cases in a different way to international organisations, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday.
"You MUST self-isolate if you enter the UK from a non-exempt country - from tomorrow, we’re increasing the penalties for people who refuse to do so to a maximum of 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders," Shapps said on Twitter.
Travellers arriving in England and Scotland after 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Oct. 3 from the countries added to the quarantine list on Thursday will be required to self-isolate.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Shutterstock/TVN24