Following the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 21st December this year, on New Year's Eve night, from 31st December 2020 to 1st January 2021, from 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM, ‘on the territory of the Republic of Poland, the movement of persons residing in this area is possible only for the purpose of performance of official or professional activities or business activity; fulfil the necessary needs related to the current affairs of everyday life’.

 

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, when asked yesterday about the voices that such a ban could not be introduced by regulation, replied that it was best to recall the situation from the spring. 

 

‘Similar restrictions were implemented in the spring and nobody doubted that they should be respected. It's not just an appeal to common sense, it's an appeal to remember how we all followed the rules and how quickly we were able to achieve good results,’ stressed the Head of Government.

 

In turn, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration Paweł Szefernaker pointed out that ‘these regulations are not against anyone, they are against the virus’. 

 

‘Here we should appeal, above all, to common sense because the rules are there to prevent the virus, we are struggling with from spreading,’ he noted.

 

He stressed that there was a rule and that this rule would be enforced by the services. 

 

‘The outcome of the intervention will be decided by the police patrol and it will be the police patrol that will assess whether or not these actions comply with the rule. And above all, the police on that day, as always on New Year's Eve, and perhaps especially now, will control the sobriety of drivers, and will also respond to alcohol consumption in public places, as they do every year,’ explained the Deputy Minister. 

 

‘But this special year is also about the fact that there is a recipe for the necessary issues of everyday life and it will also be enforced by police patrols who will intervene,’ said Szefernaker.

 

Government spokesman Piotr Müller asked on TVN24 about the issue of the New Year's Eve travel restrictions, said that the police would enforce the existing bans. ‘One is the issue of restrictions, which are already in force for a longer time, including public gatherings - a limit of five people. The second issue is the restriction on travelling from 7 PM (31 Dec) to 6 AM (1 Jan)’ - he indicated. 

 

Asked whether people, who will be travelling on New Year's Eve, have to reckon with a fine, Müller replied that ‘some fines are possible under the current rules’. He also pointed out that it does not have to be 30 thousand PLN, because there is a principle of proportionality and it will depend on the policeman whether it is a caution or a fine, and in what amount.

 

As he pointed out, a restriction on movement beyond specified purposes is an existing legal provision. 

 

At the same time, Müller stressed that the ban on gatherings and the restriction of mobility were intended to prevent the COVID-19 epidemic from spreading. 

 

‘All regulations, restrictions are not introduced to apply to themselves, but to limit the epidemic. The development of epidemic may lead to a situation when not several hundred people a day die, but several thousand. We have to be aware of that’, warned the government spokesman.