October 16, 2020
Event: Message to U.S. Citizens – Update on COVID-19 and Related Restrictions
- On October 16, the Polish Ministry of Health confirmed 157,608 cases of COVID-19 and 3,440 related deaths since the pandemic began. This an increase of 7,705 new cases and 132 new deaths over the previous day.
- Updates on health and movement related restrictions announced by the Polish government:
- Warsaw and other major cities now “red” zones: The Polish government has designated certain areas with higher levels of COVID-19 infection as “red” and “yellow” zones, which have more stringent public health restrictions. Beginning October 17, large cities, including Warsaw, Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Kielce, Krakow, Lublin, Lodz, Olsztyn, Poznan, and Rzeszow, will be “red” zones. All of Poland will continue to be at least a “yellow” zone.
- Restrictions in “yellow” zones include the following:
- Face coverings must be worn in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, except for parks, forests, and beaches.
- Restaurants are open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, with restrictions on the number of open tables.
- 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.
- Up to 20 people may attend weddings or family gatherings.
- Up to 25 people may attend public gatherings.
- No audiences are allowed at sporting events.
- High schools and universities must move to on-line classes.
- Cultural events may only use 25% of available seats.
- Gyms and swimming pools are closed.
- Restrictions in “red” zones include the same “yellow” zone restrictions plus the following additional restrictions:
- 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.
- Beginning October 19, weddings are not permitted.
- Up to 10 people are permitted at public gatherings.
- Up to one person per seven square meters permitted at church gatherings.
- For a list of locations that are in a “red” zone and more information about 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 and the Consular Agency in Poznan:
- The Embassy 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 renewal 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.
- 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 who wish to travel to Poland: Poland’s border restrictions for U.S. citizens remain unchanged. 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 email@example.com 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 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 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)
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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