Critical Alert


Officials in Poland to tighten nationwide COVID-19-related restrictions from Oct. 24 due to increasing infection rates.

 

Summary
Due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates, authorities in Poland will tighten nationwide restrictions for at least 14 days from Oct. 24. The following measures will apply:

  • Public gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited.
  • Bars will close, and restaurants will be limited to takeout services only.
  • Online learning will be mandatory for all universities and primary schools.
  • Persons over the age of 70 will be advised to remain at home.


The new restrictions will temporarily replace the current two-tier system under which authorities had divided local areas into Yellow or moderate-risk zones and Red or high-risk zones. Nationwide measures will remain in effect, including capacity limits on public transport and a requirement to wear facemasks in all public places.

Authorities are also maintaining international entry restrictions. 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. The list of such locations includes Argentina, Armenia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Georgia, Guyana, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, the Maldives, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and the US. Officials are maintaining entry restrictions on the Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine borders.

Restrictions could be extended, reimposed, or otherwise amended based on disease activity over the coming weeks.

 

Advice
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.

 

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