December 18, 2020
Event: Message to U.S. Citizens – Update on COVID-19 and Related Restrictions
- On December 18, the Polish Ministry of Health confirmed 1,182,864 cases of COVID-19 and 24,771 related deaths since the pandemic began. This is an increase of 11,010 new cases and 426 new deaths over the previous day.
- Updates on health and movement related restrictions announced by the Polish government:
- Curfew on New Year’s Eve: On December 17, the Polish authorities announced that there will be a curfew on New Year’s Eve, with a ban on movement from 7:00 PM on December 31 to 6:00 AM on January 1.
- Additional New Restrictions for the Holiday Season: On December 17, the Polish authorities announced new restrictions that will start on December 28 and continue at least through January 17. The new restrictions will include:
- Hotels will be available only to uniformed services, medical staff, and patients of specialized hospitals.
- Ski resorts will be closed.
- Shopping malls will be closed, except for grocery stores, pharmacies, book and newspaper stores, and large furniture stores.
- All people entering Poland by commercial transport will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
- Sports facilities will be 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.
- On weekdays between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, children under the age of 16 may not leave home without an accompanying adult.
- 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.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.
- Several drive-through COVID-19/coronavirus testing centers are open around Poland. For locations in many cities throughout Poland you can buy tests online at this website, and bring the code you receive to the test center you have selected. For testing in Sosnowiec, you can complete online forms at this website, then proceed to the testing location at the designated time. Neither the Polish nor the U.S. governments have implemented a requirement to be tested upon entry. The CDC website offers some factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to be tested.
- For U.S. citizens in Poland who wish to return to the United States: Travelers returning to the United States are urged to stay at home for 14 days, and some cities and states may have stricter quarantine regulations. Please review information on returning to the United States from the Centers for Disease Control and the Health Department of the state to which you plan to travel. Regular, commercial international flights from Poland are available. Travelers may book directly with airlines and address questions about travel options to transportation companies.
- For U.S. citizens who wish to travel to Poland: Poland’s border restrictions for U.S. citizens remain unchanged. U.S. citizens who do not meet one of the existing exemptions will not be allowed to enter Poland, even for transit purposes. A list of exemptions can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s COVID-19 page and the Polish Government’s COVID-19 Page. The Polish Border Guard determines who will be allowed to enter Poland, and the U.S. Embassy has no control over this process. If you have questions about whether your situation qualifies for an exemption or if you will be allowed to enter or transit Poland, please contact the Border Guard by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +48 22 500 4068, +48 22 500 4568, or +48 22 500 5468.
- 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 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 email@example.com 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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