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Last week the number of diagnosed new coronavirus infections in Poland has shown a significant increase - with a record 658 cases on Saturday.

According to the Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski, this is a result of loosening of the sanitary restrictions (epidemiological hot spots include numerous family events, mainly weddings) as well as large outbreaks of infections in production plants, mainly mines. 

Weddings under tighter control

To counter the rise in infections, the Minister of Health announced a change in the epidemiological regulations.  Large events, such as weddings, are to be under greater control of the sanitary inspectorate. - We plan to change the legislation. We will propose to register large meetings, such as weddings, so that we can more easily conduct an epidemic investigation. Each wedding will have to be registered, including the names of all participants, both to ensure that it does not exceed 150 people and so that it would be easier to identify all persons who could have had contact with a possible infected person - Szumowski announced on the Polish Radio.

The Minister also revealed that this week the police and sanitary inspectorate will start to carry out increased inspections in the shops to check whether customers and staff are covering their mouths and noses. - There are no excuses. Unfortunately, it is necessary to remind people that this is the law. There is no data that would say that the mask worn reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches a person. Medical objections to wearing a mask concern a very small share of the population. If someone feels uncomfortable while wearing the mask, they can wear a visor - said Łukasz Szumowski.

The government even announces a change in the regulations on covering mouth and nose. - People declaring breathing problems, who cannot wear the mask, would have to wear a visor - said government spokesperson Piotr Müller in TVN 24.

Schools restrictions - depending on the district

The spokesman also revealed that the government is preparing higher sanctions for entrepreneurs who do not comply with sanitary requirements in their workplaces. - Now it is more profitable to pay penalties than to adapt the workplace to the requirements. That's why the new sanctions can be several times as high as the current ones," says Müller. In his opinion the districts with the highest number of infections can expect a change in the restrictions, for example regarding the number of people staying in restaurants.

The regionalisation of schools is also an option that the government is considering. - So, for example, if the number of new infections is below a certain level in a district, the school functions normally. If this level increases above a dangerous threshold, then the functioning of the school would be limited - said the government spokesperson.

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about the coronavirus pandemic for you.

They are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities. They work on the ground, reporting from hospitals and airports.

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