WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland is introducing mandatory vaccinations by March 1 for teachers, medical workers, and uniformed security workers like police, the military, firefighters and security guards.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Tuesday that after March 1, vaccination will be a condition for jobs in these sectors. He said amid a continuing high level of daily new infections of some 23,000, Poland was following in the footsteps of Germany and Austria in requiring vaccine jabs for these three professional groups.

He said starting Dec. 15, the number of guests at hotels, restaurants, eateries, theaters and churches is being reduced to 30% capacity from the current 50%, and can be increased only for people who can prove they are vaccinated. Discos and nightclubs will be closed.

All primary and middle schools switch to online learning Dec. 20 through Jan.9. Most of that time is the Christmas vacation.

The ruling conservative party is also debating a draft law, to be prepared within days, that would empower employers to see results of COVID-19 tests of their employees.

Poland, a nation of 38 million, is seeing more than 500 coronavirus-related deaths a day and has had over 86,000 COVID-19 patients die in the pandemic.


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