The state of emergency has been in force since Thursday in some of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodeships. – Tourists call and cancel their reservations, although the state of emergency is 30 kilometers away – said a tourist guide from Supraśl. There are clearly fewer visitors in the city.
Supraśl is a health resort, usually full of tourists. It is not as famous as mountain or seaside towns, but it has its loyal fans. The main street leading to the riverside boulevards is full of charming souvenir shops from Podlasie, pubs and ice cream parlors. You can see a few people in the premises, most of the tables are empty.
Fall in the number of tourists
– Although the state of emergency is 30 kilometers away, a decrease in the number of tourists is noticeable – says Kasia, who runs the Kopart galleries and organizes the walks of the “Suprasl seamstresses”. – Guests who have had reservations call and cancel them. I also feel that I have fewer guests, even the group did not gather for “Suprasl seamstresses” (walks with torches after dark – ed.) – he says. – Helicopters fly here much more often (…) now it does not surprise anyone – he adds.
– We are on the tourist trail that continues all the way to the border. It is not as attractive for tourists as they cannot see all the attractions, because some of them are located in places under the state of emergency – he explains. She also noted that you cannot count on compensation in areas that are not covered by the state of emergency.
There are fewer walkers on the boulevards by the Supraśl River than usual. After the introduction of the state of emergency, more police and military patrols are visible.
Mrs. Barbara and Mr. Kazimierz from Wrocław, whom they met in Supraśl, come here regularly, almost every year. – We’ve probably already explored everything in the area, so we don’t have to go anywhere. But somewhere in there we have a fear, especially when we see so many troops. It has always been so quiet here, and now you can feel such a light atmosphere of fear – they told PAP.
State of emergency
A state of emergency came into force on Thursday in the border zone with Belarus, i.e. in part of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces. It covers 183 towns. It was introduced for 30 days by the Presidential Ordinance issued at the request of the Council of Ministers.
According to the ordinance, people who do not live there are prohibited from being in the area of the state of emergency 24 hours a day. The exceptions are persons providing services to public administration offices and their organizational units; staying in these units in order to settle administrative matters; gainfully employed in entities conducting business activity in this area; performing permanent business activity in this area; providing postal, courier, delivery and supply services; owning real estate in this area.
It also does not apply to farmers working in agricultural holdings; pupils, students and their guardians while studying; guardians of children up to 3 years of age; people participating in religious worship, baptisms, weddings, weddings and funerals.
The ban does not apply to emergency services, medical services and people on their way to health care facilities, as well as people going directly to the border crossing or from it to the center of the country.
As emphasized at the conference on Thursday, the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Maciej Wąsik, in other situations “the commanding officer of the Border Guard will always be able to issue a permit to enter the area where the state of emergency will apply”.
Main photo source: Damian Pankowiec / Shutterstock