Authorities in Poland plan to tighten existing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions from Dec. 28 until at least Jan. 17 due to elevated disease activity in the country. During this time, all international arrivals will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, unless arriving by private vehicle; all shopping malls, hotels, and ski resorts will close; unaccompanied children under 16 years old will be prohibited from leaving their accommodations until 1600. In addition, a nationwide curfew will be in effect from 1900 Dec. 31 to 0600 Jan. 1, during which people may leave their accommodations only for essential or work purposes.
The following domestic measures are currently in force as of Dec. 17:
Theaters, cinemas, museums, art galleries, community centers, and music centers are closed.
Hotels are available only to business travelers.
Shops smaller than 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) can have one customer per 10 square meters (107 square feet) of space in their premises at a time; shops larger than 100 square meters can have one customer per 15 square meters (161 square feet) of space.
Swimming pools, water parks, and gyms are closed.
Public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
Bars are closed, and restaurants limited to takeout services only.
Online learning is mandatory for all universities and primary schools.
Persons over the age of 70 are advised to remain at home.
Capacity limits remain in place on public transport and individuals must wear protective face coverings in all public places.
Authorities are also maintaining international entry restrictions as of Dec. 17. Citizens and residents of EEA member states, as well as those of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, and Tunisia, 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 countries experiencing high COVID-19 activity. The list of such locations includes Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and the US (other than connections to airports in the states of Illinois and New York). Entry restrictions remain in force on the land borders with Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine; however, some border crossings remain open.
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.
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