Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland (March 19, 2021)
Event: Message to U.S. Citizens – Update on COVID-19 and Related Restrictions
- On March 19, the Polish Minister of Health announced that Poland’s third COVID-19 wave is accelerating, and new virus cases are rising rapidly. On March 19, the Polish Ministry of Health confirmed 2,010,244 cases of COVID-19 and 48,807 related deaths since the pandemic began. This is an increase of 25,998 new cases and 419 new deaths over the previous day.
- Updates on health and movement related restrictions announced by the Polish government:
- Beginning tomorrow, March 20, and continuing through at least April 9, additional restrictions will be expanded to include the entire country. The additional nation-wide restrictions include the following:
- Hotels, movie theaters, museums, and other similar public spaces will be closed.
- Shopping malls will be closed, except for stores that provide essential services.
- Pools, gyms, saunas, ski slopes, and other sports facilities will be closed.
- All schools, grades 1 through 12, will move to virtual instruction (kindergartens and preschools may remain open for in-person instruction).
- All other country-wide restrictions currently in place will continue, including:
- Face coverings must be cloth or medical-type masks. Face shields, visors, scarves, or other types of face coverings are not permitted as substitutes for masks. Masks 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.
- Only 50% of seats or 30% of all space may be used on public transport.
- 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.
- 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.
- Most travelers entering Poland are subject to a 10-day quarantine. For the most recent quarantine information, please visit the Polish Government’s COVID-19 Page.
- For more information and a complete list of 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.
- 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 is being made available in phases. 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.
- CDC Order: All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen 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.
- 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. Rapid antigen tests that provide results in approximately 30 minutes are available at most international airports in Poland. 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. For information about testing at airports, please visit the airport websites or contact your airline.
- New travel requirements: Many airlines require that a certain kind of mask be worn for flights, and many countries have specific mask and COVID-19 testing requirements, even for transit. Please check with your airline and the government websites of all countries you plan to visit or transit to confirm the latest requirements before you travel.
- 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.pl or call +48 61 851 8516 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, except for U.S. and Polish holidays.
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 U.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 U.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 firstname.lastname@example.org after hours. In Warsaw, call +48 22 487-13-00.
U.S. Embassy, Warsaw, Poland
+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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