Coronavirus epidemic – improved coordination of actions and new safety rules applicable to the entire country

Combating the COVID-19 pandemic continues. To make it even more effective, we continue to adapt our actions to the situation we are currently in. What changes are we introducing? We are introducing new safety rules. From 10 October, the restrictions previously applying to the yellow zone will cover the entire country. We have drawn on the experiences gained over the last couple of months. We are increasing the number of beds in hospitals and improving the process of coordinating the flow of patients between institutions. In addition, a coordination hospital will be established in each voivodeship, which will include additional intensive care unit beds for patients who have contracted the coronavirus.


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Photo: Krystian Maj / Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland

It has been seven months since we implemented the first restrictions. This autumn, a second coronavirus wave arrived in our country and we must face it decidedly and categorically. Learning from our experiences, experiences of other countries, and discussions within the EU, we have decided to expand the yellow zone to the entire country from 10 October. It will be mandatory to cover your mouth and nose not only in means of transport but also in public places. The yellow zone would normally apply to approx. 100 counties so we opted for this straightforward solution emphasised Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. 

New safety rules in the entire country

When combating the coronavirus, the most important thing is to act responsibly and follow the restrictions in force. Drawing on the experiences gained over the last couple of months, we are introducing new safety rules. After updates, some counties with the highest number of COVID-19 cases will be included in the red zone. Starting from 10 October, the yellow zone will apply to the entire country except for the red-zone counties.

Obligation to cover your mouth and nose in the entire country

Remember to cover your mouth and nose in public spaces – in shops, buses but also on the streets. This will apply to the whole country!

Only those who have a medical certificate or a document confirming disability are exempted from this obligation.

Eating places – new rules

To minimise the spread of the coronavirus, eating places in the red zone will be allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Keep a safe distance in these places in the entire country – at least 4 m2 should be provided for 1 person. 

What is more, no dancing space may be made available in eating places and other indoor areas in the whole country.

Fewer guests at special events

If you are planning to organise a baptism party, a wedding, or other special events, keep in mind that there is a limit on the number of people allowed to participate in them. The limit is 50 people for red-zone counties and 75 people for other counties. This restriction will become effective a week later, i.e. on 17 October, to be able to prepare accordingly.

New rules applying to cultural events

A blanket ban on the organisation and participation in cultural events applies to red-zone counties. 25% of cinema seats may, however, be filled. How about the remaining counties?

25% of guests may participate in indoor cultural events – the same restriction applies to cinemas. Not more than 100 people may participate in outdoor cultural events; however, the number of guests cannot exceed 1 person per 5 m2.

Safety first during gatherings

The limit on the number of gathering participants, i.e. 150 people, will continue to apply. The participants must cover their mouth and nose as well as keep a distance of at least 1.5 m from others. Additionally, a distance of at least 100 m between gatherings must be kept.

More beds in hospitals and new coordination process

Places in hospitals are a priority to us when tackling the coronavirus. We continue to observe, analyse, and take action if necessary.

That is why we are increasing the number of beds for COVID-19 patients. A coordination hospital will be established in each voivodeship, which will include additional intensive care unit beds for patients who have contracted the coronavirus.

The coordination hospital will serve as the main hospital in a voivodeship. More importantly, it will be oriented towards care for COVID-19 patients. Directors of such hospitals will become part of the Voivodeship Crisis Management Team responsible for:

  • flow of patients between hospitals following arrangements with medical practitioners from other hospitals, general practitioners, and practitioners providing specialist outpatient care,
  • flow of ambulances for COVID-19 testing and transport ambulances,
  • referring patients to isolation places.

The increase in the number of hospitals will bring the number of available beds to 13,500. 

”We are carrying out actions, which will result in an increase in hospital beds by several thousand. Almost 60% of hospital beds are free so we are in a safe situation. We want to act in advance,” said the Prime Minister. “We know very well that countries such as Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, or the Netherlands suffered tragedies when their hospitals were not available. We want to avoid that,” he added.

Where will coordination hospitals be established? Download the graphic (link at the bottom of the page) and find out which hospital in your voivodeship will serve as a coordination hospital.

Greater role of GPs

We are increasing the role of general practitioners in combating the coronavirus. After the changes, they will be allowed to:

  • order patients to self-isolate,
  • refer patients to isolation places.

We are also abolishing the obligation to meet four COVID-19 testing criteria during remote consultations.

Zero tolerance for non-respect of safety rules

Our principle is: zero tolerance for those who do not respect the safety rules. Please remember that our health depends on mutual responsibility. That is why:

  • follow the restrictions currently in force,
  • cover your mouth and nose,
  • wash and disinfect your hands regularly,
  • keep a safe distance from others,
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth,
  • install the STOP COVID – ProteGO Safe app on your mobile phone.

SMS reminder about new red-zone counties

From Friday, 9 October, the Government Centre for Security will start sending SMS text messages to residents of new red-zone counties. This will serve as a reminder to follow the applicable rules.

The SMS text message will contain a link to the relevant tab at www.gov.pl/koronawirus so that you can quickly find out what restrictions will apply to your county.

Red zone – a new list of counties

From Saturday, 10 October, the new list will include 32 red-zone counties and 6 red-zone cities. A major change is that the entire country will be included in the yellow zone except for the red-zone counties.

New list of counties, valid as of 10 October

Red zone:

Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship: Aleksandrów County and the city of Grudziądz;

Lubelskie Voivodeship: Janów Lubelski County, Łęczna County, and Włodawa County;

Łódzkie Voivodeship: Bełchatów County, Wieluń County, and the city of Piotrków Trybunalski;

Małopolskie Voivodeship: Limanowa County, Myślenice County, Nowy Targ County, Sucha County, and Tatra County;

Mazowieckie Voivodeship: Otwock County and Szydłowiec County;

Opolskie Voivodeship: Olesno County;

Podkarpackie Voivodeship: Dębica County and Mielec County;

Podlaskie Voivodeship: Białystok County, Zambrów County, and the city of Suwałki;

Pomorskie Voivodeship: Kartuzy County, Kościerzyna County, Puck County, Słupsk County, and the city of Sopot;

Śląskie Voivodeship: Kłobuck County;

Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship: Kielce County and the city of Kielce;

Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship: Bartoszyce County, Działdowo County, Iława County, and Ostróda County;

Wielkopolskie Voivodeship: Krotoszyn County, Międzychód County, Rawicz County, and Wolsztyn County;

Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship: the city of Koszalin.

Stay safe with STOP COVID – ProteGO Safe

Facing the coronavirus threat may be easier thanks to the STOP COVID – ProteGO Safe app. It is completely safe, free, and voluntary to use. As more people start using it, the rate and range of the coronavirus spread will be limited faster and more effectively. Download, install, and start using the STOP COVID – ProteGO Safe app!

What does the app do? Once installed, your mobile phone will scan the surroundings for other mobile phones (but not people) on which the app is also installed. During that time, STOP COVID – ProteGO Safe analyses the duration (time) of contact and the distance from it. The app will only record those contacts that lasted more than 15 minutes and at a distance of less than 2 m. If any of the persons with whom you have spent more time contracts the coronavirus, you will receive a notification with tips on what to do in this case.

Importantly, the notification will not include information on who has contracted the coronavirus or when or where you have had contact with that person.

 


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