April 30, 2020 / 4:25 PM / a month ago

Poland lifts quarantine rule for workers, students who often enter from neighbouring states

A student of the Medical University in Gdansk, Tomek Witowski, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), walks to a newly launched drive-thru testing site for the coronavirus, situated near Stadion Energa Gdansk, in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Gdansk, Poland April 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jadwiga Figula

WARSAW (Reuters) - People working or studying close to the Polish border will be able to cross it regularly again as of May 4 without needing to undergo a two-week quarantine, Poland’s prime minister said on Thursday.

Poland was one of the first European Union states to close borders due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. It also imposed a mandatory two-week lockdown for those who enter its territory from abroad.

“The growth of new coronavirus cases is relatively low and stable. We haven’t won with the epidemic, but we increasingly have it under more control,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a post on his Facebook page.

“It means we can take more decided steps to allow economic life to speed up,” he wrote.

The loosening of restrictions he mentioned applies to those resident in areas of Germany, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic close to the land border with Poland.

But entry into Poland remains barred to all others unless they undergo the two-week quarantine.

Poland has started relaxing some coronavirus-related restrictions in an effort to unfreeze its economy.

Last week, hundreds of people who live in Poland but work in Germany protested in the southwestern Polish border town of Zgorzelec against a mandatory coronavirus quarantine for those crossing the frontier.

As of Thursday, Poland had confirmed 12,877 cases of coronavirus and 644 deaths, according to health ministry data.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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