Today’s coronavirus update includes news on more emergency restrictions, urbancard refunds, reports of slow testing, and bankruptcy worries in the hospitality industry.
As the coronavirus inevitably exacerbates, the news is coming thick and fast. Here are just some of the local coronavirus stories that have broken in the last 24 hours:
Government introduce more emergency restrictions
The Polish Government have introduced new restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
From today, it is forbidden to leave home for anything other than the following reasons:
- going to work
- going to buy groceries
- going for a short walk, or a short walk with your dog
- visiting a doctor
The restrictions also include a ban on gatherings of more than two people . This does not, however, apply to families. Attending ceremonies like masses and funerals is permitted, but no more than 5 people may gather (excluding the person(s) who conduct the ceremony).
Although going for a short walk near one’s home is allowed, the emergency restrictions do not permit gatherings in parks, forests and riverside boulevards.
The physical distancing measures apply to public transport too. Every bus, train or tram should be no more than 50% full. Half of the seats should be empty at all times and people should sit down rather than stand.
Anyone found guilty of flouting the above laws can be fined up to 5,000zł. The restrictions enter into force as of tomorrow.
Interestingly, the emergency restrictions will remain in place until the day before Easter Sunday. That leaves open the dangerous possibility of millions of Poles travelling all over the country to gather for Easter Sunday breakfast, potentially infecting vulnerable relatives in the process. It could also be a similar story at Easter Sunday ceremonies in churches.
As the April 11th deadline approaches, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki could be forced into ordering people to stay in their own household for longer – a move that would see one of the most significant religious holidays in Poland all but cancelled.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Wrocław now up to 66
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in our city rose from 58 to 66 today.
The confirmed coronavirus case count in Poland is currently 749. In the Lower Silesia region, there are now more than 100 cases.
Urbancard operator struggling to deal with thousands of refund requests
If you have submitted a refund request for your Urbancard ticket, be prepared for a long wait.
The huge number of emails inevitably means it will take some time to get through them all. The operators of the Urbancard say that the amount of the refund will nonetheless correspond to the date an email is sent, not the date when the money is actually refunded.
Koszarowa hospital boss: staff are fainting at work
Professor Krzysztof Simon, head of the infectious ward at Koszarowa Hospital, has told Gazeta Wrocławska that medical staff are fainting inside the biohazard suits used to protect them from COVID-19.
He does nonetheless add that new protective clothing is on the way. Simon is also hopeful that more staff will return to the hospital after completing their quarantine and testing negative for coronavirus.
Coronavirus testing in Lower Silesia taking up to four days?
Gazeta Wyborcza report that the coronavirus testing process in our region is taking up to four days. Magdalena Odrowąż-Mieszkowska, a spokesperson for Lower Silesia’s Sanitary Inspectorate, says at no point have they received test results within 24 hours.
However, Sanepid have shot down the claims and maintain that the results are always available within 24 hours.
Guinness Guitar Record to move online
Wrocław’s annual Guinness Guitar Record, which every year aims to break the record for the most people playing guitar together, is to move online.
The event always takes place on the Rynek on May 1st, but that can’t happen this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Just how they will be able to connect thousands of guitarists at the same moment is not yet known. However the organisers say that they will soon publish details on their plans.
Jazz nad Odra organisers seek new date for festival
The organisers of Wrocław Jazz nad Odra festival are hopeful of finding another window in which they can safely host their event, which is one of the highlights on Wrocław’s musical calendar.
Teachers and schools furious over government’s lack of e-learning support
State schools are obliged to start teaching via the internet as of tomorrow. However, many school directors and teachers are angry over the way the switch has been handled.
According to Gazeta Wyborcza, schools have received virtually no support or guidelines regarding online teaching methods and software among other things.
PRL bar owner: “There will be wave of bankruptcy in April”
The owner of a bar on the Rynek has told tuwroclaw.com that he expects swathes of businesses in the hospitality industry to go bankrupt next month.
If the government effectively closes our premises by offering inadequate support, we can expect a wave of bankruptcy in the Wrocław gastronomy market as soon as April. We don’t know how long it will take [to get back to normal] and we can’t afford to wait. Of course, bars have started deliveries, however, even those that have done so had no option. This is the only way to earn money to pay salaries. The situation is dramatic, this crisis will affect several thousand people .
Andrzej Dobek, owner of PRL bar and President of the Nasz Rynek Association
Dobek’s comments are of course understandable. However, he also made some bizarre suggestions about what businesses would survive. He told tuwroclaw.com that some foreign-owned restaurants would be the only ones to get through the crisis because “specific people eat there.”