New, stricter coronavirus-lockdown rules come into force

The new stricter rules on the nationwide coronavirus-lockdown have come into force. Following the new regulations, minors will only be allowed outside while accompanied by an adult while public parks, hair salons, tattoo and piercing studios will be forced to close.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Mariusz Kamiński, announced that the police will enforce the new laws starting from the next day.

“A significant portion of our police officers will carry out intensive patrol work on the streets of our cities and smaller towns. Today, 20,000 policemen set off on the streets, supported by 1,500 soldiers mainly from the Military Police” - the minister stated. He also stressed that the controls will only intensify in the following days.

Starting from April 2nd, the municipal police will be closely supervised by the state police and their work tasks will also be coordinated by them. The decision has been made by the provincial governors and the Interior Minister states that the measure has been met with great understanding by local authorities.

The minister added that the only purpose of the restrictions imposed on social life "is to effectively freeze - although it may sound hard, but it is true - social contacts, limiting them as much as possible".

Minister Kamiński continued by stating "this time is very difficult, the threats to the health and life of all citizens are enormous, we must act in the spirit of maximum social discipline, show solidarity with each other, follow the orders of officers who know what they are doing and why they are doing it".

The Poles who have been ordered to self-isolate at home have so far overwhelmingly abided by the rules. Out of 150,000 such citizens, only a few hundred could not be found at home when the police conducted random checks.

The spokesperson of Poland’s General Police Headquarters (KGP), Mariusz Ciarka, says that the police will be very thorough in controlling whether people abide by the new stricter rules, stating “the current situation and the concern for the health of all of us is no longer just a time for information and instruction. The police officers will be very scrupulous about the new restrictions and about people who put the health and lives of others at risk. Irresponsible people have to take into account severe consequences and high fines" .

There will also be more police officers patrolling the streets, sometimes in cooperation with military police and soldiers from the Territorial Defence Force.

Sylwester Marczak, the spokesperson of Warsaw Police Headquarters, told reporters that starting tomorrow, “there will be more than 200 police patrols operating on foot in the city”. He also revealed that offenders have already been forced to pay fines for breaking the new rules. Among them, the owner of a hairdressing salon which remained open today. The owner was forced to close down and pay PLN 500.

There are hopes that the stricter rules could be lifted after the Easter holidays but the authorities have made it clear that it will be the speed with which the virus spreads that will determine the ultimate schedule.