A medical official wearing protective gear stands outside an emergency tent, which was installed for patients infected by the suspected coronavirus infection (COVID-19) near a hospital in Czestochowa, Poland March 11, 2020. Grzegorz Skowronek/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
A medical official wearing protective gear stands outside an emergency tent, which was installed for patients infected by the suspected coronavirus infection (COVID-19) near a hospital in Czestochowa, Poland March 11, 2020. Grzegorz Skowronek/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.

Poland plans to gradually re-open the economy and lift coronavirus restrictions in weekly instalments in May, as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to decline and the vaccination campaign progresses.

With the weekly rolling average of new infections down 40 per cent compared to a week ago, incoming data “provide ground for cautious optimism,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

The easing is expected to start modestly with reopening indoor sports facilities for organized youth groups on May 1.

As of May 4, the first day after a long weekend in Poland, shopping malls are expected to reopen, with customer limits. Youngest pupils, aged 7-9, are to return fully to in-person schooling. Art galleries and museums are also set to reopen.

Hotels are to be able to re-open at 50-per-cent capacity as of May 8, while restaurants, bars and cafes are to be allowed to offer outdoor dining as of May 15.

Poland might also lift the outdoor mask mandate as of mid-May, depending on the infection rates.

As of May 29, all students are to return to in-person learning. Indoor dining is to resume and fitness clubs, swimming pools as well as cinemas, theatres are to be able to re-open, with customer limits.

At the same time, Morawiecki urged citizens to observe the restrictions that are still in place.

On Wednesday, Poland reported an additional 636 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total up to 66,533. Over 10.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in Poland, a country of 38 million. Nearly 2.75 million people have been fully vaccinated.

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