Remove the mask and Poles help reopen bars and restaurants

Warsaw, Poland (AP) — Poles remove masks, hug friends and regain freedom as restaurants, bars and pubs reopen for the first time in seven months and the government withdraws the requirement to cover people’s faces outdoors I had a toast. ..

The reopening is currently limited to outdoor consumption of food and drink and officially took place on Saturday. Still, many couldn’t wait for a midnight strike and went out on the streets of Warsaw and other cities hours before Friday night to gather outside the popular drinking fountain. Some brought their own beer to hold up until late at night when drinks were available, while others offered beer and cocktails early.

“Now they are open and I find it very nice. 38-year-old Gabriel from Sweden drinking beer at the outdoor table of the Pavilion, a popular courtyard full of pubs in central Warsaw. Nikilovsky said, “It’s as if you were in jail, but you were in jail at home.”

The DJ finally got back to work and the waiters and waitresses were in a hurry to process the order again. Meanwhile, the end of the requirement to wear a mask outdoors added a sense of liberation. Masks are still required for settings such as public transport and stores.

Bar owners were also happy with the prospect that they could finally start making money, and many said they had been hit by booking requests leading up to the opening of the store.

Kasia Szczepanska, co-owner of the popular bar CAVA on Warsaw’s trendy Novi Sifia street, said:

Due to pandemic restrictions, restaurants, cafes and other facilities have been restricted to offering only takeaway food and drink since last fall.

“Everyone says they’re tired of takeaway food, the food offered in plastic,” Szczepanska said.

Although the easing of the country’s blockade is gradual, the reopening of bars with outdoor gardens and dining areas was clearly an important psychological step towards normalization. From May 29th, you will be able to eat indoors.

But even with government support, not all companies have survived a long month of forced closures, and others are initially just trying to recover their losses.

The restrictions have been relaxed because vaccination has finally accelerated across the European Union, to which Poland is a member, and the number of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations has plummeted in Poland in recent weeks.

However, many do not yet feel completely relaxed.

Alexandra Konopka, who runs a bar along the popular Vistula River promenade, said people were relaxing on deck chairs and drinking in the beach-like sandy gardens. But she is also nervous about the potential for more blockades as new virus variants become available. And she said there are new challenges that come from the difficulty of finding workers.

“Not everyone is willing to work in the gastronomic and hotel industry because they expect to lose their jobs. They have difficulty changing jobs and getting services,” said Konopka.

One of the customers relaxing at her bar, Monika Rzezutka, said she had severely missed contact with people during the months of the blockade and welcomed the resumption of normal life.

Rzezutka, a 23-year-old psychology student, said: