COVID-19: Number of illegally reopened restaurants 'terrifying”, says official

The deputy Development, Labour and Technology minister has described as “terrifying” the news that as many as 20,000 restaurants, bars and cafes opened for business at the weekend despite the pandemic restrictions.

Olga Semeniuk, the deputy Development, Labour and Technology minister, told public TV broadcaster TVP1 that her ministry had only thought 70-80 premises had illegally opened.

"The aid that we are channelling to entrepreneurs (...) must be distributed in a way so that regulations are observed," she emphasised.

The government is working on a sanitary regime that could be implemented by entrepreneurs, she announced and expressed her hope that “such a decision will be presented this week by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki."

“Given the pandemic situation in Europe, the Polish government can be only moderately optimistic about unfreezing the country's economy”, said Ms Semeniuk and emphasised that the time frames for easing the restrictions, proposed by the government, will be strongly dependent on the epidemiological situation in Europe and potential further virus mutations.

She also stated that only mass vaccination offers the chance to lift restrictions placed on the economy, and that Poland has been in talks with its foreign partners to increase the supplies of vaccines.