WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland will close 12 coal mines from Tuesday for three weeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus among miners, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin said on Monday.
Miners account for almost 20% of coronavirus cases reported in Poland. But the Solidarity trade union denounced the move, saying it would lead to permanent closures as the nationalist government was already planning to restructure the industry.
Two mines operated by state-run JSW and 10 mines owned by PGG group will close for three weeks, Sasin said. All are in Silesia, a mining region which accounted for over half of the new 599 coronavirus cases reported in Poland on Monday.
“Such action is needed to eventually quell these epidemic outbreaks,” Sasin told a news conference, adding that miners would receive full pay for the three weeks and coal deliveries would not be affected.