Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (January 20, 2021)

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (January 20, 2021)

Location: Poland

Event:  Message to U.S. Citizens – Update on COVID-19 and Related Restrictions

New Updates:

  • On January 20, the Polish Ministry of Health confirmed 1,450,747 cases of COVID-19 and 34,141 related deaths since the pandemic began. This is an increase of 6,943 new cases and 443 new deaths over the previous day.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine:  The Polish government has announced that a COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to everyone who is legally present in Poland and is old enough to receive an approved vaccine.  The vaccine will be made available in phases, beginning with healthcare workers and the elderly.  For more information and to register your interest in receiving a vaccine, please visit the Ministry of Health website.  After you have filled out the online “declaration of interest,” the Ministry of Health will contact you when a vaccine is available for your cohort and provide instructions about registering for an appointment. The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.
  • New CDC Order: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a new order that, effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.  U.S. citizens who may not be able to satisfy the requirements should depart immediately or prepare to be unable to return to the United States until such time as they can meet the requirements.  
  • COVID-19 testing: The Embassy is not able to administer or pay for COVID-19 tests.  Testing is available at many laboratories and medical facilities throughout Poland that provide results within 72 hours.  The average cost of a PCR test is approximately $120 USD.  For drive-through testing center options, you can buy tests online at this website and take the code you receive to the testing center you have selected.  This website is another option in Warsaw that provides drive-through and in-home testing.  This website offers an in-home testing option in Krakow.
  • Updates on health and movement related restrictions announced by the Polish government:
    • On January 11, the Polish authorities extended holiday season restrictions that started on December 28 and will continue at least through January 31. The restrictions include:
      • Hotels are available only to uniformed services, medical staff, and patients of specialized hospitals.
      • Ski resorts are closed.
      • Shopping malls are closed, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, book and newspaper stores, and large furniture stores.
      • All people entering Poland by commercial transport must undergo a 10-day quarantine.
      • Sports facilities are available only for professional sports.
    • All restrictions already in place will continue, including:
      • Face coverings must be worn in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, except for parks, forests, and beaches.
      • Restaurants and bars are closed for in-person dining, with delivery and take-away service only.
      • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and post offices are open for seniors only (people age 60+) between the hours of 10:00 AM and Noon, Monday through Friday.
      • Only 50% of seats or 30% of all space may be used on public transport.
      • Weddings and other large gatherings are not permitted.
      • Up to five people who do not live together are permitted at public gatherings.
      • Private meetings and gatherings, including festive events, are limited to one household and up to five outside guests.
      • Business and professional meetings are limited to five people, not counting the person who is organizing the event.
      • Only five people per cashier allowed in stores of up to 100 square meters. In stores over 100 square meters, one person is allowed for every 15 square meters.
      • Only one person per 15 square meters allowed in churches.
      • Cultural institutions, including movie theaters, museums, theaters, and galleries, are closed.
      • Gyms, swimming pools, and health spas are closed.
      • Seniors, especially people over age 70, are advised to limit their movements in public spaces, apart from their professional activities, fulfilling daily needs, or attending religious services. A helpline for seniors has been established at +48 22 505 1111.
    • For more information and a complete list of the restrictions, please visit the Polish Government’s COVID-19 Page.
    • The authorities have announced that the police will strictly enforce health and movement related restrictions. Offenders could be fined up to 30,000 PLN for any violations.
  • Services for U.S. citizens at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, and the Consular Agency in Poznan:
    • The Embassy in Warsaw is accepting appointments for U.S. passport applications, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applications, and notarial services. Appointments can be scheduled at the appointments page on our website.
    • The Consulate in Krakow is accepting appointments for U.S. passport applications, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) applications, and notarial services. Appointments can be scheduled at the appointments page on our website.
    • The Consular Agency in Poznan is open for passport and notarial services by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please send an e-mail to CAPoz@post.plor call +48 61 851 8516 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, except for S. and Polish holidays.
  • For U.S. citizens in Poland whose legal status has expired or will expire soon: The Polish government declared an Epidemic State of Emergency on March 14, 2020.  Visas, temporary resident permits, and work permits that expire during the State of Emergency will be extended until 30 days after the conclusion of the State of Emergency.  At this time, we do not know when the State of Emergency will end, but the Embassy will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Actions to Take: 

  • Follow all restrictions that the Polish government has announced. These restrictions have been modified several times.  A full list of current restrictions, as well as frequently updated guidance, can be found in English on the S. Embassy’s COVID-19 page and on the Polish Government’s COVID-19 Page. You may be subject to a fine of up to 30,000 Polish złoty for not adhering to these restrictions.
  • Visit the CDC’s website about COVID-19 for up-to-date information from the U.S. government about the virus.
  • Visit the State Department’s COVID-19 page and the S. Embassy’s COVID-19 page. Both have information specifically for travelers and the U.S. Embassy page is updated regularly with information relevant for U.S. citizens in Poland.
  • Enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so the U.S. Embassy can contact you with updated information and in an emergency.
  • Polish Government Resources:
    • Visit the Polish Government’s COVID-19 Website for general health information, movement restrictions, and health tips.
    • The Polish government has set up a national informational hotline for COVID-19 health-related inquiries. To reach this hotline, dial +48 800 190 590 and press 6 for an English-speaking operator.  For emergency services, dial 112.
    • Polish social service agencies provide assistance in obtaining food and medicine to those who are under home quarantine due to COVID-19. These services are available to both Polish citizens and foreigners.  In Krakow, call +48 887 202 946 or +48 887 202 947 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or email after hours. In Warsaw, call +48 22 487-13-00.


U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland
Piękna 12
00-539, Warsaw
+48 22 504 2784 (business hours)
+48 22 504 2000 (after hours emergencies involving U.S. citizens)

U.S. Consulate General, Krakow, Poland
ul. Stolarska 9
31-043 Krakow, Poland
+48 12 424 5100 (business hours)
+48 601 483 348 (after-hours emergencies involving U.S. Citizens)

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Poland Country Information
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
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