Severity: Warning Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities update list of countries allowed to fly to and from Poland as of July 28; most COVID-19-related restrictions lifted nationwide.
- Alert Begins: 29 Jul 2020 12:33 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 24 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: Easing of COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Some travel and business disruptions remain
Authorities in Poland have updated the list of destinations, as of July 28, to which flights to and from Poland are permitted. From this date, flights will be allowed to all countries of the European Union and Schengen Area, except Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden, as well as the non-EU countries of Albania, Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uruguay. This measure will be in place until Aug. 11.
Officials have also lifted land border controls with the EU and Schengen countries; there are no border checks and no requirements for self-isolation for travelers entering Poland from another EU/EFTA Schengen country. Travelers from a non-Schengen Area country (Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, or Cyprus, and the UK), will need to pass passport control but are not required to self-isolate upon arrival. Restrictions on entry for travelers who are not EU citizens or residents remain in place, except:
- Foreigners who are spouses or children of Polish citizens remain under the constant care of Polish citizens.
- Foreigners who hold a Karta Polaka.
- Foreigners who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in Poland.
- Pupils, students, graduate students, and postgraduate students enrolled in Polish educational institutions.
- Scientists who are conducting research or developmental work in Poland.
- Foreigners with valid work visas.
Persons who cross the border of Poland, as an external border of the EU - except those in the categories mentioned above - and persons who have been close to people infected with COVID-19, or live with a person who is self-isolating, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Authorities have eased COVID-19 restrictions in stages through early July. Most nonessential businesses have reopened, and general outdoor gatherings have no capacity limits provided that participants follow social distancing and wear protective face coverings. Fairs, exhibitions, and congresses have resumed operations. Officials have also lifted restrictions on religious service attendance. Face coverings remain mandatory for public transport and most indoor public spaces.
Restrictions may be extended, reimposed, or otherwise amended based on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The easing of measures adopted by the Polish government are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to a decrease of infections rates of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as these may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.