Poland to announce tougher coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday

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FILE PHOTO: People queue to the ski lift after loosening of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the reopened resort of Zakopane

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will announce tougher coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, especially in some regions hit particularly hard by the British variant of COVID-19, Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Wednesday.

Some 12,146 new cases were registered in the previous 24 hours, a rise of more than 3,500 in the space of a week, the minister told radio station TOK FM.

"We are moving in the direction of limiting entries at the border. We will also want formal changes in the wearing of protective face shields or scarves instead of masks...and we also have to regionalise restrictions," Niedzielski said.

The new restrictions should be introduced on Saturday but could also come into force earlier, he added.

Poland has loosened some restrictions, opening ski slopes as well as cinemas, hotels and theatres at up to 50% capacity, but authorities have warned that these measures may have to be rolled back depending on the pandemic situation.

Niedzielski had previously said that the worst of third wave is expected to peak towards the end of March or the beginning of April.

(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Louise Heavens)