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Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has announced a series of new restrictions in the country in a televised briefing together with the minister of health, writes the Guardian’s Central and eastern Europe correspondent Shaun Walker, from Budapest.
As of tomorrow, gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. People can still leave home to go to work, buy medicine or take exercise. “But this does not mean we are to gather, or that we can go to the playground with children,” said health minister Łukasz Szumowski.
The move makes Poland the latest European nation to go into lockdown over coronavirus. Other measures announced on Tuesday included limiting the number of passengers on public transport to 50% of the seat capacity to ensure distancing.
Poland introduced some of the earliest restrictions on Europe, despite a relatively low number of cases. The country shut its borders to foreign citizens on 15 March, and most flight and train connections were swiftly cancelled.
It has also closed schools, cinemas and theatres and had already introduced a “state of epidemic” which recommended people to stay at home. Poland currently has 774 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nine deaths.