Alert – Travel Information for U.S. Citizens, U.S. Embassy Warsaw, Poland (March 26, 2020)
Event: There is an ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The global public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, with hundreds of thousands of reported cases worldwide. This message includes instructions on how to book flights to travel back to the United States and information about the movement and entrance restrictions in effect in Poland.
On March 19, the State Department advised U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The State Department is advising U.S. citizens traveling or residing outside the United States to arrange for immediate return to the U.S. unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time. U.S. citizens are urged to take advantage of commercially-available options for returning to the U.S. while they are still operating. Those U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States should work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. Please enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov.
CHARTER FLIGHT PROCEDURE: The U.S. Mission to Poland is assisting LOT Polish Airlines with verifying eligibility for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who wish to return to the United States on charter flights offered by LOT. These are not U.S. government operated or funded flights. Availability and cancellations are controlled by LOT. At this time, this is the only direct way to travel between Poland and the United States. The U.S. government is not evacuating U.S. citizens from Poland.
These times are subject to change or cancellation, but, as of this time, LOT has scheduled flights from Warsaw to Chicago on the following days:
·Friday, March 27
·Sunday, March 29
·Tuesday, March 31
·Thursday, April 2
·Saturday, April 4
In order to secure seats on the upcoming LOT flights, you MUST send an email to WarsawUSCitizen@state.govwith the subject line: LOT Charter Information [Your Last Name]
Your email message should include the following information for EACH traveler (even small children):
Full name as spelled in your passport
Information we can use to contact you now – a current phone number and email address.
Date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
Passport number, and its date of issuance and expiration. If it is not a U.S. passport, please note the country that issued it. Please also note any non-U.S. citizen immediate family members traveling with you.
Please note your current location (city and country) and any special needs you may have, such as medical issues.
PLEASE NOTE: As long as LOT continues to schedule these flights, the U.S. Embassy will not be organizing charter flights to evacuate U.S. citizens from Poland. By providing this information to us, you give your consent to our providing it to travel service providers for the purpose of facilitating your return to the United States.
MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS: On March 24, the Polish authorities announced new restrictions on public movement through at least April 11. All public gatherings, events, and reunions are banned. No gatherings of more than two people are allowed in public, except for family groups (for example: two parents and two children walking together would be allowed). Public transport will continue to operate, but no more than half of the available seats may be taken at any given time, i.e., if there are 70 seats on a bus, only 35 people may be on the bus at the same time. You may be fined up to 5,000 PLN for violating the restrictions on public movement and gatherings.
The following activities are exceptions to the restrictions on public movement:
·Commuting to and from work.
·Traveling to purchase goods or perform services connected to your employment.
·Essential activities of daily life, such as shopping for food and medicine (for your family or for others under quarantine), seeing a doctor, taking care of relatives, or walking your dog. The Health Ministry confirmed that activities like jogging, cycling, or walking are permitted. For all of these matters, you may only move in a group of up to 2 people and must maintain social distancing of 2 meters (approximately 6 feet).
·Religious events may include up to five people, but the government recommends participating in religious services online or via radio or TV.
Previously announced restrictions regarding schools and shopping centers remain in effect. All large shopping centers are closed, except for supermarkets and pharmacies. Restaurants and bars are closed, except for delivery and take-out services. All entertainment and cultural venues, such as theaters and museums, and all schools and universities remain closed until further notice.
ENTRANCE RESTRICTIONS: On March 15, Poland instituted strict border entry requirements. All travelers seeking to enter Poland are subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Only the following categories of travelers are allowed to enter Poland. The U.S. Embassy cannot insist that Polish authorities allow a traveler into the country in violation of Polish regulations.
·Spouses or children of Polish citizens
·Foreigners holding a Karta Polaka (a Polish-Government-issued Certification of Polish Heritage)
·Persons with diplomatic status and members of their families
·Foreigners who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in Poland
·Foreigners who have the right to work in Poland or who have a work permit
·Foreigners who drive a vehicle used to transport goods
·Other particularly justified cases may be considered, but entry must be granted with the permission of the Chief of the Border Guard
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