Poland outlaws face coverings and scarves in favor of masks, ramps up regional restrictions as British Covid-19 variant spreads

The Polish government has banned the wearing of face coverings and scarves as an acceptable means of protecting oneself against Covid-19, as the third wave of the virus gathers momentum in the east European state.

“Until now, we had the opportunity to use alternatives to masks. But now we want to stop using them. A face covering can be used in addition to the masks because they protect the upper part of the face,” Minister for Health Adam Niedzielski announced on Wednesday, as he confirmed the virus was resurgent across the country. 

Government adviser Iwona Paradowska-Stankiewicz reinforced Niedzielski’s remarks, noting that research had shown alternative face coverings had little impact on the spread of Covid-19, and that the type of mask worn was particularly important. 

A spokesman added that, as much as the government would like to mandate FFP2 (Filtering Face Piece) or FFP3 standard masks, it would be economically very difficult and there would inevitably be a dearth of supply in the short term, although it may be considered in the longer run.

The new restrictions on non-mask face coverings will come into force on Saturday.  

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The government has also announced regional restrictions in the northern Warmia-Masuria province. New measures mean a return to distance learning for grades 1-3, while shopping centers, sports centers, swimming pools, cinemas and other cultural facilities will be closed for at least two weeks. 

The British variant of Covid-19 is now responsible for 70 percent of cases in the province, which is where the virus is spreading fastest in Poland. 

Poland has registered more than 1.6 million infections since the start of the pandemic and more than 42,000 deaths. On Wednesday, the Health Ministry recorded a further 12,146 new infections and 372 deaths. 

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Source:RT World News

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