In the evening (local time) on Friday, April 24, hundreds of people gathered on a footbridge connecting the Polish border town, Zgorzelec, and the German town, Görlitz, to protest the mandatory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine measures in place restricting travel across the border. According to reports from local officials in Zgorzelec, approximately 20,000 Poles work in the German region Saxony, more than half of which cross the border.
Land borders have been closed for several weeks and will remain closed until at least Sunday, Mary 3. A fence has been erected in the middle of the bridge, to prevent people crossing it, amid the COVID-19 restrictions. Though exemptions continue to be made for essential workers, including some Polish nationals, residents, and those with valid work permits, all Polish citizens and residents returning to the country are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Reports indicate that approximately 300 people gathered on the Polish side of the footbridge to protest, and a further 100 people on the German side. Additional protests were reported in other Polish towns located on the German and Czech borders.
As of Saturday, April 25, 11,067 cases of COVID-19 and 499 associated fatalities have been confirmed in Poland. In Germany, there have been 155,054 cases of COVID-19 confirmed and 5767 related deaths to date.
Associated protests are likely over the coming several days as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor the situation and abide by all restrictions implemented by local authorities.
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