Prime Minister: We have decided to close all educational institutions and universities

The coronavirus can become very dangerous, so we need to act quickly and in advance said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki after the meeting of the government crisis management team. Based on the government decision, educational institutions and universities will be closed from 12-25 March, of which the first two days are a transitional period. During this time, only childcare activities will be carried out in kindergartens and primary schools. Due to the threat, all cultural facilities, including cinemas and museums, will also be inaccessible.

Premier Mateusz Morawiecki. 1 of 4
Fot. Krystian Maj / KPRM

We want to inhibit the possibility of spreading the coronavirus as much as possible the Prime Minister emphasised. He noted that, in order to control the situation, we need determined actions that will also lead to changes in our habits, such as shaking hands or being in large clusters of people. The head of the government admitted that the introduction of certain restrictions would lead to disruption of normal social and cultural life. However, we are convinced that our actions are right and timely he continued.

We need to act quickly, that's why we act in advance wherever we can said Mateusz Morawiecki. He noted that the actions that Poland takes in connection with the spread of the coronavirus are later copied by other countries. We have introduced, among other things, sanitary controls at borders, which have been confirmed as a mechanism to be implemented in many other countries he continued.

The Prime Minister emphasised that today the most important word in Poland must be “responsibility” which, in the face of the current situation in the country, is crucial. He noted that the best methods for fighting the spread of coronavirus are seclusion, isolation, quarantine and avoidance of large groups of people. We are responsible for each other: grandchildren for grandparents, parents for children. We, as a government, are responsible for the entire society he added.

In turn, the Minister of Health stressed that this is the time of quarantine of society. He also appealed to students that the two-week break in learning is not a period of free time, it is the time that we should spend at home, trying not to infect others.

The Minister of Education emphasised that the decision to suspend classes does not affect the schedule of the current school year. For children and the youngest it is difficult to find childcare for a longer time. We suggest that schools continue to have a childcare function, but only in special cases said Minister Dariusz Piątkowski, as he added if necessary, we will make other decisions in this matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin decided to suspend didactic classes also at universities. As he said, there would be no restrictions on conducting scientific activity. Universities have the opportunity to conduct e-learning classes.

Minister Marlena Maląg informed that, in addition to closing crèches and children's clubs, the government also asked the local self-government units to close their senior houses and clubs. These are places where seniors like to meet, but for the sake of their health, we urge them to spend this time safely at home.

The Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs also declared that in connection with the suspension of the operation of educational institutions, parents can receive an additional care allowance - sick leave is not required, it is enough to submit a statement to the employer. The allowance will be paid from the Social Insurance Fund. A remote work solution has also been introduced; it will allow parents to decide whether to get the care allowance or possibly work from home, she continued.

Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński also announced that the government had decided to suspend the operation of the following cultural institutions from 12 March: theaters, philharmonics, museums, cinemas, as well as universities of arts.

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