The Polish government announced that on 4 May 2020, shopping centres, hotels, and DIY and furniture stores will be opened to the public subject to certain conditions and restrictions. Below, we highlight the guidelines published by the Polish Ministry of Regional Development for retail and hotel facilities.
Limited Number of Users and Specific Safety Measures in Retail Facilities
Under the guidelines, one person per 15 square metres of the retail area will be able to visit the retail facility. Each person will need to keep a 2-metre distance from other people. The ministry allows increasing the number of clients in retail facilities by 10% if the clients use the ProteGoSafe application on their mobile, which provides a personal self-health check and diary, as well as information on risk factors, protection measures and, soon, meetings with persons who have been infected.
Persons with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, such as coughing and hard breathing, should not be allowed to use the retail facilities. Such persons should be informed to go directly to the closest hospital ward for contagious diseases for medical aid. Each incident of this type will need to be notified to the shopping centre manager to allow cleaning and disinfecting of the areas that such persons encountered.
Further, persons using retail facilities will be obliged to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or other clothing, and use gloves. In common areas, shopping centre owners/managers will need to display clear information on where clients can purchase facemasks or alternatively provide vending machines selling masks. The obligation to provide gloves to clients is on store operators.
The guidelines recommend that people enter and exit retail facilities without contact. Thus, shopping centre owners are advised to organise entrances and exits, and introduce one-way traffic systems. This change will enable them to calculate the number of clients using retail facilities at the same time in line with the law.
There are also certain restrictions on the use of common areas, facilities and equipment in retail centres. For example, the number of people allowed in a lift at the same time will be limited to the capacity outlined by the producer divided by three. Similarly, the number of toilet users will be divided by two against the number of available WCs. In addition, all toilets will need to be disinfected four times per day. Common infrastructure in the retail facilities will need to be disinfected at least two times per day.
Benches and other relaxation areas will be excluded from use. All changing rooms in stores either will be excluded from use or will need to be disinfected after each user. Ventilation will need to provide fresh air to retail facilities and extract all used air outside. All storage rooms and other repositories in retail facilities will be closed. Parking will be allowed only in every second parking space.
Restrictions on Tenants’ Operations
Food courts in retail facilities will be able to operate in the limited scope. Its area will need to be physically separated with a barrier. Only one person per 15 square metres of the food court area will be able to use it at the same time. People standing in queues will need to keep a 2-metre distance. In the first phase of opening retail centres to the public, food courts will be able to offer meals only for takeaway and delivery, without serving customers inside or outside of the restaurant or retail facility. Food consumption on the street will be prohibited.
The operation of fitness centres, playgrounds, cinemas and other recreational areas, as well as trade islands, barbers, beauty parlours and cafes, will still be prohibited.
Hotels and Other Facilities Offering Short Stays
Hotels and similar facilities will be able to open subject to specific safety measures. In the entrance and other common areas of hotels, owners and operators will need to display information on the maximum number of users.
The maximum number of hotel guests allowed to use the hotel facilities at the same time will be limited and calculated by the number of available hotel rooms multiplied by two. Only hotel guests will be able to use the hotel facilities.
Further, hotel operators will need to place hand disinfectants in common areas of hotels, such as in the entrance, lift lobbies and toilets, as well as near doors to restaurant areas. It is also recommended that hotel receptions sell clients facemasks. The hotel will be able to offer a room to another client only upon the cleaning and disinfecting of all touchable areas.
All common areas, particularly all touchable areas and equipment in the hotel, will need to be disinfected every hour. Cleaning of rooms during long-term stays will be upon the guest’s request only. Hotel guests will be prohibited from using hairdryers. Bedsheets and towels will need to be cleaned according to specific sanitary conditions before they are provided to hotel guests. Changing air in the hotels, o-zoning or other forms of disinfecting are strongly recommended.
Hotel restaurants and bars will be able to operate subject to specific sanitary conditions. In particular, food can be served in the restaurant area subject to ensuring a 2-metre distance between guests. Fitness centres, pools, playgrounds and other recreational areas in hotels will remain closed. The use of conference rooms will be restricted to ensure a 2-metre distance between participants.
Hotel operators/owners will need to designate a duly equipped room with disinfectants and individual safety measures to allow the temporary isolation of a person showing symptoms of infection.
People with COVID-19 symptoms, such as coughing and hard breathing, should not be allowed into the hotel. Such persons should be informed to go directly to the closest hospital ward for contagious diseases for medical aid. If a guest shows symptoms of infection during their stay, they will need to be isolated in the designated room. Each incident of this type will need to be notified to the hotel manager to allow cleaning and disinfecting of the areas that such a person encountered. A medical dispatcher will also need to be notified. The hotel manager will need to provide a list of hotel personnel who had contact with the infected guest and, if possible, a list of other hotel guests. Upon suspecting COVID-19 infection of a hotel guest or personnel, the hotel will need to stop accepting new guests, notify the relevant epidemic-sanitary station and follow instructions and orders issued by the authorities.
The guidelines also provide recommendations on safety measures for personnel working in the retail and hotel industry. Please contact us if you have any questions.