Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Italy, and Poland have announced plans to lift restrictions imposed to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Yesterday, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the government would end its state of emergency at the end of March, Reuters reported.
The authorities are planning a gradual return to normal after more than two years of life under restrictions, he said.
As the numbers of new cases, hospitalisations, and deaths have been dropping since the end of January, the Italian authorities have come under pressure to lift restrictions that have been in place to varying degrees going back to the start of 2020.
“We will continue to closely monitor the pandemic situation, ready to intervene in case of an outbreak… but our goal is to reopen fully, as soon as possible”, Draghi stated.
Italy declared a state of emergency, allowing authorities to impose new rules by decree, at the end of January 2020. Once it expires at the state of next month, the government does not plan to renew it, according to Draghi, who indicated that the vaccine pass will be gradually phased out of use, with the mandate lifted for outdoor activities first.
Poland to reopen
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that authorities there would scrap most of the country’s COVID-19 restrictions at the start of March.
“After medical consultations and watching what’s happening in other countries we can introduce far-reaching changes in our restrictions policy”, he declared, which would mean being in a position to “remove restrictions that have been with us for many months.”
He said that face masks would still be mandatory in public indoor spaces, while limits on the number of people in cultural venues, restaurants, and stores would be lifted.
The Polish government announced that public institutions would stop working remotely and that entertainment venues and clubs would be allowed to reopen.
“More and more countries are removing restrictions, while encouraging people to vaccinate”, Morawiecki observed. “We are removing most restrictions today while leaving in place the most needed ones.”
The vaccination rate in Poland stands at roughly 66%, one of the lowest in the EU.