Coronavirus epidemic: Gdańsk experience

Gdansk will wait

Poland reacted with many restrictions towards limiting the spread of coronavirus, many of them, like decision of closing schools, universities, shopping centres, parks, beaches, forests, etc were made on the governmental level.

The City of Gdańsk since very beginning got involved in actions against spreading coronavirus and mitigating bad impact on the economical and life conditions of different groups of inhabitants.

Meetings of the city crisis staff are systematically convened in Gdańsk. They are chaired by the Mayor of Gdańsk, and also attended by the Deputy Mayors, uniformed services and directors as well as representatives of municipal institutions and companies.

The city bought over two thousand tests for healthcare workers in Gdańsk. To reduce the risk of getting infected, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk decided to purchase an additional batch of personal protective equipment for employees of hospitals, social welfare homes and the Municipal Family Support Centre.  Health support is also very important for employees servicing water and sewage installations crucial for the city, as well as for people working on waste collection. the city decided to allocate PLN 1.5 million to purchase protection measures. Among the protective equipment there are: 170000 masks, 8000 racal suits, 260000 pairs of gloves, 1800 liters of hand sanitizers, and more.

The employees of the City Administration and municipal institutions can work in home office. The buildings are closed for customers, but the services are provided online.

Municipal Family Assistance Centre in Gdańsk delivers hot meals and food to 51 children, 115 fed people, 275 regular clients as well as several hundred people struggling with the homelessness crisis.

The City initiated or participates in some social actions and activities which shall help especially the seniors, like “Shopping for a senior”, “Easter bunny for a neighbor”, “Everybody can help”. On the city of Gdańsk website there are many information about other institutions’ or companies’ actions for inhabitants, as well as online trainings, concerts, and church services.

The City of Gdańsk Administration supports the entrepreneurs. The Gdańsk Support Package has been consulted among the 12 largest cities in Poland, members of the Union of Polish Metropolises. The package contains:

  • - cancellation of rent in communal premises for 1 month with the option to suspend the obligation to pay rent in the next 2 months
  • waiving the enforcement of fees for regulating commercial transactions
  • adjournment,  payment in installments or cancellation of property tax
  • suspension of perpetual usufruct fees for 3 months
  • restoration of full official service of matters related to entrepreneurs

The Administration made analysis of the planned city expenditures in 2020 and made decision of suspension of new obligations and savings.

Photo credit: City of Gdańsk  website