Poland's Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek on Tuesday said older schoolchildren will switch to remote learning as the EU member struggles against soaring Covid-19 infection numbers.
"We had to take the decision to limit in-person learning... This is unfortunately dictated by the coronavirus infection numbers, by Omicron," Czarnek told reporters.
He said that starting Thursday students in grades five and above will switch to remote learning until February 27, while younger children will continue to attend school in person.
"Let's remember that the younger the age group the harder remote learning becomes, and less effective too. That is why we tried to keep as many grades as possible in school," Czarnek explained.
He added that universities can decide for themselves how to proceed, and that some have already switched to remote learning.
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week "we are seeing record numbers of infections" and urged Poles to work from home as a result.
Poland, where less than two-thirds of the adult population is fully vaccinated against Covid, on Tuesday reported 36,995 new infections as well as 252 deaths.
The government has been heavily criticised by the opposition for not doing enough to combat the crisis, including through vaccine certificates.
Earlier this month, 13 of the government's 17 medical advisers on coronavirus resigned, accusing the populist government of inaction in the face of the pandemic.
Czarnek said it was unlikely remote learning would be extended past February, as the country's fifth wave of Covid-19 is expected to peak in two or three weeks.
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