PM announces new COVID-19 restrictions

During a joint press conference with the country’s Health Minister, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that cemeteries will be closed from Saturday to Monday, covering the period over All Saint's Day, which falls on Sunday.

The PM said that the government waited before making the decision “believing the number of infections would drop.” He also said that the government does not want cemetery visits to cause more deaths.

Mr Morawiecki also said that starting on Monday, for at least two weeks, people working in public offices will be obliged to work from home if the character of their job allows it. He appealed to private employers to do the same.

He also said that the appeal to the elderly to stay at home for the coming two weeks is urgent as there is an emergency and the health and lives of senior citizens is “most at risk.”

PM Morawiecki also said that at a European Council video conference on Thursday, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen presented a vaccine plan for the EU. “It is likely that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in January for those who need it the most - for the elderly and the health services,” the PM said.

He also said that he hopes some branches of the economy could be “defrosted” in December or even in late November, pointing especially to the catering and fitness branches. The PM also ruled out a full lockdown.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said that quarantine will become automatic for household members of people who receive a positive COVID-19 test result. He also said that antibody tests will be as important as PCR tests, and will be a basis to recognise that one is infected, which will serve to increase the number and speed of testing.

Mr Niedzielski also said that people with a positive test result but mild or no symptoms will be given pulse oximeters - medical devices that indirectly monitor the oxygen saturation of a patient's blood.