Due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates, authorities in Poland have tightened domestic restrictions on Oct. 10. Authorities have designated the whole country as having a moderate risk or "yellow zone," except for counties designated as having "high risk" orr "red zone." In yellow zones, public gatherings are limited to 150 persons nationwide. Protective face coverings are mandatory in all public areas, with the exception of parks, forests and beaches. Cultural events can operate at 25-percent indoors, or up to 100 people outdoors. Effective Oct. 17, up to 75 people will be permitted to attend weddings and funerals.
Control measures in "red zones" remain more strict. Cultural events have been suspended. In addition, restaurants and bars must be closed from 2200-0600 in all red areas. Effective Oct. 17, up to 50 people in red zones will be able to attend weddings and funerals.
Authorities are maintaining international entry restrictions as of Oct. 12 as part of the country's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Citizens and residents of EEA member states, as well as those of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, and the UK, are permitted to enter without restriction. Persons entering Poland from elsewhere, as well as individuals who have been close to people infected with COVID-19 or who live with a person who is self-isolating, must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. Entry restrictions for most foreign nationals remain in place, except for the following:
- Spouses, children, or dependents of Polish or EEA citizens
- Foreigners who hold a Polish identity card (Karta Polaka)
- Foreigners who are permanent or temporary residents of Poland
- Students enrolled in Polish educational institutions
- Scientists who are conducting research or developmental work in Poland
- Foreigners with valid work visas
Poland has banned international flights connecting with several locations of high COVID-19 activity. As of Oct. 5, the list of such locations, which will remain valid until Oct. 13 at least, includes Argentina, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, the Maldives, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, and the US. Flight restrictions have now been lifted for all members of the Schengen zone.
Officials are maintaining entry restrictions on the Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine borders.
Domestically, most nonessential businesses have reopened. Restrictions could be extended, reimposed, or otherwise amended based on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.