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Poland will close a dozen coal mines from Tuesday for three weeks to stop the spread of the coronavirus among miners, its deputy prime minister said.

The move comes as Poland recorded its largest daily rise in the number of coronavirus cases on Monday, with 599 new infections. Miners account for almost 20% of recorded coronavirus cases in the country.

Two mines operated by state-run JSW and 10 mines owned by PGG group will close for the three weeks. They are all located in Silesia, a major mining region which accounted for more than half of the new cases reported on Monday.

The trade union Solidarity, however, opposed the decision to close the mines, saying it would lead to their permanent closure as the government was already planning to restructure the industry.