Today’s coronavirus update includes news on foreign travel, a possible outbreak at LG Chem, and fans being allowed back in football stadiums.
As the coronavirus crisis develops, the news is coming thick and fast. Here are just some of the local and national coronavirus stories that have broken in the last 24 hours:
Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wrocław remains at 616
According to Gazeta Wrocławska’s live feed, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wrocław has not increased since our last update.
The number of people who have died from coronavirus in Wrocław remains at 43.
Across Poland, the coronavirus case count currently stands at 23,155. Meanwhile, 10,692 people in the country have recovered from COVID-19.
1,051 people have sadly died in Poland as a result of the virus.
10,000 fans allowed at Śląsk Wrocław matches from June 19th
At a joint press conference held yesterday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and PZPN chief Zbigniew Boniek announced that fans are to be allowed to return to football stadiums on June 19th.
Stadiums will be allowed to open at 25% capacity, which means as many as 10,000 fans could be cramming on trams, buses and trains to get to and from Stadion Wrocław in just 3 weeks.
According to tuwroclaw.com, match tickets will only be available online, and the fans themselves will be arranged “in such a way as to avoid larger clusters”. Each club will reportedly receive a very detailed list of obligations regarding sanitation and safety, which is currently being further developed.
The above plans point towards social distancing being applied inside the ground. However, in practise, this will be impossible. The ultras always cram together no matter the occasion, and will not listen to anyone who asks them to do otherwise.
Another virologist expresses slight concern over relaxation of the lockdown
Dr Egbert Piasecki, a virologist from the Ludwik Hirszfeld Polish Academy of Sciences in Wroclaw, has told Gazeta Wrocławska that Poland is “in a group of countries that are not in control of the epidemic.”
The epidemiological situation has not changed much since the end of March. One can only hope that the warm season that’s coming should result in a slower spread of infection. Not simply because it will be warm, but because we will spent a lot of time in the open air and rooms will be ventilated.
It can be expected that there will be less expansion of the infection. In addition to epidemiological considerations, social and economic problems must also be taken into account. Society is tired of wearing masks and the economy is experiencing significant problems, so it was necessary to try to loosen the restrictions. However, the defrosting rate seems too fast.
Dr Egbert Piasecki
Piasecki believes that the relaxation of the lockdown will result in more cases, but hopes that Poland can avoid a huge increase in infections during the summer:
It seems that economic considerations are more important than others, because an economic catastrophe cannot be allowed. At the same time, it can be expected that this loosening will not cause a significant increase in infection.
Although no one knows it with certainty, we suppose that it [the spread of infection] will be limited by the warmer season and the associated opportunity to stay in the open air and in frequently ventilated rooms. In addition, many people, especially those at greater risk, have learned to behave safely, which means that there will be no huge increase in the number of patients.
We don’t know exactly, but it can be assumed that about 1 percent of the Polish population has already been infected. This is not much, but with each passing day the number of vulnerable people who have not yet come across the virus will decrease, and as a result, the spread of the virus should slow down. It is also possible that in the first phase of the epidemic, the virus hit the most vulnerable people, and now the infection will spread more asymptomatically.
Models showing the situation in different countries say that we are in the third group of countries, i.e. those who do not control the epidemic. Loosening is therefore for socio-economic reasons, because it is not epidemiologically justified.
Dr Egbert Piasecki
Ryanair reveal proposed summer flight schedule
Irish budget airline Ryanair have announced their summer schedule from Wrocław Airport, which is of course dependent on the Polish Government lifting restrictions on flights.
- Wroclaw – Alicante from 5th July: once a week (twice a week from 6th August)
- Wrocław – Athens from July 3rd: once a week
- Wroclaw – Bristol from 1st July: twice a a week
- Wrocław – Cagliari from 3rd July: twice a week
- Wrocław – Chania from 3rd July: once a week
- Wrocław – Cork from July 3rd: once a week (twice a week from August 3rd)
- Wroclaw – Dublin from 3 July: twice a week (3 times a week from 3rd August)
- Wrocław – East Midlands from 2nd July: twice a week (3 times a week from the 4th of August)
- Wrocław – Edinburgh from July 4th: twice a week
- Wrocław – Girona from 4th July: once a week
- Wroclaw – Glasgow from July 3rd: once a week
- Wrocław – Leeds / Bradford from 1st July: twice a week
- Wroclaw – Liverpool from July 2nd: twice a week
- Wrocław – London Stansted from July 22nd: twice a week (4 times a week from August)
- Wrocław – Madrid from 4th July: once a week (2 weeks from 4th August)
- Wrocław – Malta from July 5th: once a week
- Wroclaw – Manchester from 1st July: twice a week
- Wrocław – Newcastle from July 5th: once a week
- Wroclaw – Palermo from 1st July: twice a week
- Wroclaw – Palma Mallorca from July 4th: twice a week
- Wrocław – Podgorica from 7th July: once a week
- Wrocław – Rome Ciampino from August 1: once a week
- Wrocław – Shannon from 3rd July: once a week (2 times a week from 3rd August)
- Wrocław – Tenerife South from July 5th: once a week
Hala Stulecia’s antiques market returns today
Hala Stulecia’s antiques market will run today for the first time since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in Poland. It will be open tomorrow too and shall return on June 18th.
Food trucks are set to return to the area as well; 5 will be present this weekend, with more to come over the summer.
Travel to Croatia, Spain, Cyprus and Italy possible, but not to Greece (yet)
Greece have announced that their borders will be open to visitors from 29 countries from June 15th. However, the Greek authorities do not yet consider it safe yet to allow in tourists from Poland.
Visitors from our neighbouring EU countries, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany, are on the list of approved nations. Poland, like other European nations such as Italy, Spain and the UK, is unfortunately not included on the list. The situation could change in the coming weeks though.
Other countries are nonetheless happy to allow travel from Poland. Cyprus have put Poland on its approved travel list, while the same is true of Croatia. Meanwhile, Italy will allow travel from all EU countries as of June 3rd, and Spain are also opening their borders to tourists from July 1st.
Of course, Poland will also need to change its border restrictions before travel abroad is possible without having to observe a 14 day quarantine on return.
Hospitals and clinics see surge in patients
According to Rzeczpospolita newspaper, clinics and hospitals in Poland are seeing a marked rise in patient numbers.
It is believed that this is due to many Poles choosing to hold back treatment and/or seeking medical advice until they feel it is safe to do so. Now that the lockdown has been relaxed somewhat, patients feel more comfortable about visiting hospitals and clinics, says Andrzej Basiński, the director of the emergency ward of the University Clinic in Gdańsk.
You can read more on this story in English over on Notes From Poland.
LG Chem employee tests positive for coronavirus
A factory worker at LG Chem in Biskupice Podgórne near Wrocław has tested positive for coronavirus. The building where the infected employee had been working has been temporarily shut for disinfection.
Tests will now be carried out on other employees to see if the virus has spread.