Dear students,

Recently, certain protective measures have been taken by Polish authorities. They may affect your everyday life, therefore it is of utmost importance that you get yourself acquainted with the information below. To combat the spread of misinformation, the information below only come from official sources provided by Polish government (pl. Dziennik Ustaw, eng. Journal of Laws) [1]. Additionally, you can find the list of references below the article. We also provide you with links to reliable sources regarding the most up-to-date situation in Poland.

The most important decisions taken by the government are as follows:

  • Border control will be temporarily restored – from 15th until 3rd of May

  • Foreigners are not allowed to enter Poland from 15th March, with exceptions of foreigners who e.g. legally live and/or work in Poland, they are allowed to enter Poland under the same conditions as Polish citizens. 
    What does it mean?
    The only incoming flights allowed to land at Polish airports are charters carrying Polish citizens returning from abroad (upon the agreement from Prime Minister). Erasmus students can leave the territory of Poland (most likely by car, as the international air and train [2] transport is suspended from 15th March, find more information below). However, once you leave Poland, you may not return until the ban is lifted. 

  • Persons returning from abroad from 15th March must undergo a two-week home quarantine (with exceptions of persons from border areas and certain drivers). Mandatory home quarantine will cover everyone who lives with a quarantined person.

  • International air and rail connections are suspended from 15th March.
    What does it mean?
    If you had some flights planned for the period from 15th March onwards - they are cancelled, you should receive an information from the airline directly. For now, the airline ban lasts until 3rd of May, while the trains are currently suspended for an indefinite period. If you were planning to leave the country using buses, these may be also suspended (look for information directly on carriers’ webpages, e.g. Flixbus connections are suspended for 10 days) [3]. Please mind that certain neighbouring countries had also taken some measures to contain the virus, so please check the current situation with the official websites of the country's authorities.   

  • Cargo transport works. The borders remain open to the transport of goods.
    What does it mean?
    Transportation of goods is allowed, therefore, according to Polish authorities, there should be no major shortages in stock. You will be able to buy food and sanitary products in stores.

  • National bus, air and rail transport operates normally.
    What does it mean?
    You are able to travel from one voivodeship to another within Poland, although any sort of travelling isn’t recommended and one should only change the place of current stay in case of urgent emergency!

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores will remain open while all other stores in shopping centres will close from today onwards.
    What does it mean?
    You are able to buy the majority of products in supermarkets which will remain open. Shopping malls (anything above 2000m2) will be closed with the exceptions of the supermarkets within these malls (so you can enter the mall and only the supermarket and pharmacy will be open, the rest will be closed). 

  • Restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas, museums, sports facilities (including gyms) will be closed, they will only be able to operate on delivery and take-away activities.

  • Banks and financial institutions operate.

  • Universities are closed until 10th April.
     

NEW QUARANTINE RULES IN POLAND INTRODUCED ON THE 24TH MARCH:

  • Prohibition of movement
    What does it mean?
    From 25th March until 11th April, outside movement of persons is prohibited - it is allowed to leave home only for: work, voluntary work to counteract the effects of COVID-19, store, pharmacy, matters necessary for life, participating in the religious activities.

    In case of:

    • movement on foot - 2 people can move simultaneously at a distance of not less than 1.5 m from each other (this ban is not applicable to family members and persons in cohabitation),
    • using public transport - the limit of people transported at the same time is not more than half the number of seats.

  • Prohibition of gatherings
    What does it mean?
    • From 25th March until 11th April any gatherings and meetings are prohibited (this ban is not applicable to family members and persons in cohabitation as well as gatherings within work activities).
    • From 25th March until 11th April religious gatherings are allowed up to 5 people at the same time (50 people from 12th April until further notice) - excluding the holders of the religious worship and funeral service.
       

NEW REGULATIONS APPLY FROM 1ST OF APRIL:

  • Restrictions on the number of customers in stores, at trade fairs and the post office (from 01.04.2020)
    What does it mean?
    In stores there can be only a limited number of people which is 3 people per one cash register.
    Example: If a shop has 5 cash registers, there can be 15 customers inside at the same time. The total number of cash registers counts, not only the ones that are open.

     
  • New obligations for all kind of shops
    • from April 2 (Thursday) all customers will have to enter shops in disposable gloves. Shops will be required to provide disposable gloves. However, It is recommend to have also own gloves.
    • from 10:00 to 12:00, shops and service outlets will only accept and serve clients that are older than 65 years. At other times, shops and commercial premises are available to everyone.
       
  • Limited access to parks, beaches, boulevards, promenades, botanical gardens and zoos.
    What does it mean?
    The goveremnet introduced a total ban on moving around parks, boulevards, Jordanian gardens, botanical and zoological gardens, so you can't go to those places.

     
  • 2 meters - minimum distance between pedestrians
    This also applies to families and people from one household. 

     
  • A ban on using city bikes 
     
  • Beauty & hairdressing salons will be closed

NEW REGULATIONS INTRODUCED ON 9TH OF APRIL:

  • The current restrictions remain in force until April 19th, at least

  • Schools and universities are closed until April 26th, at least
     
  • From April 16th there is an obligation to cover your mouth and nose in public spaces
    What does it mean?
    It will be obligatory to cover mouths and noses in public spaces. Everyone will have to wear a mask (e.g. handmade), scarf or bandana on their face. This obligation applies to everyone in the streets, public offices, shops or service points and workplaces.

     
  • All mass events are suspended
     
  • Polish borders are closed until May 3rd, at least
Restrictions from previous regulations are still binding and must be followed. 
 
RESTRICTIONS LIFT FROM APRIL 20TH:
  • parks and forests will be reopened to the public (playgrounds still closed)
     
  • no limitations on recreational activities (running, biking)
     
  • 4 people per cash register in shops up to 100 m2, 1 person per 15 m2 in shops bigger than 100m2
     
  • churches: 1 person per 15m2
     
  • You still have to cover your nose and mouth in public spaces!

Other restrictions will be lifted gradually in 3 stages, depending on future developments.
 

RESTRICTIONS LIFT FROM MAY 18TH:

  • Cosmetic and hairdressing salons will be allowed to reopen and take in customers, while taking necessary health precautions. 

    • If possible - wearing masks or other gear protecting the face and no one will be allowed to sit in the waiting area

  • It will be possible to eat inside or in the outside sitting area of a restaurant, pub or coffee house

    • ​​1 person per 4m2, 2 meters between the tables or 1m if the tables are separated with a high enough “fence”

  • Religious celebrations:

    • 1 person per 10m2

  • Outdoor sport:

    • 14 people per stadium, field, skatepark or “Orlik” + 2 coaches;

    • 22 people + 4 coaches per full-sized football field

  • It will be allowed to practice in indoors under strict limitations:

    • 12 people + coach in objects up to 300m2

    • 16 people + 2 coaches – 301-800 m2

    • 24 people + 2 coaches – 801-1000m2

    • 32 people + 3 coaches – more than 1000m2

  • Outdoor cinemas can be reopened (including drive-in theatres)

  • It will be possible to have individual classes in art schools and universities

  • Rehearsals will be allowed under certain restrictions

  • Universities can be reopened to last year students and for classes that cannot be conducted online (laboratories, certain workshops)

  • Public transport authorities are given 2 options when it comes to capacity limits:

    • Half of the seats can be occupied (as before, so if a bus has 30 seats, only 15 people are allowed in)

    • 30% of the seats and standing area can be occupied (if there are 30 seats and place for 70 people standing, 30 people are allowed in as long as half of the seats is free)

  • You still have to cover your nose and mouth in public spaces!

 

RESTRICTIONS LIFT FROM MAY 30TH:

  • You don't have to cover your mouth and nose outdoors (if social distancing is maintained, min. 2 meters).

  • You still have to cover your mouth and nose indoors. Those are:
    • buses and trams
    • shops
    • cinemas and theaters
    • massage and tattoo places
    • churches 
    • offices
       
  • Exceptions where you don't have to cover your mouth and nose:
    • at work 
    • in a restaurant or bar - when you take your seat at the table
       
  • No more limits regarding the number of people in restaurants, shops and churches.
     
  • Public gatherings of up to 150 people (such as outdoor concerts) may be held. Obligation to cover the mouth and nose or a distance of two meters.

 

RESTRICTIONS LIFT FROM JUNE 6TH:

  • Cultural institutions, cinemas, theatres and recreational facilities such as gyms and swimming pools can reopen, though with reduced numbers allowed to attend and under the obligation to meet sanitary requirements. Discos are excluded and will not reopen yet.
     
  • Weddings and family events of up to 150 people can take place.

 

 Other restrictions will be lifted, depending on future developments.
  

Below you can find exemplary websites that are reliable source of information regarding the situation in Poland:

Regarding the situation of student mobility across Europe, please refer to official statement issued by European Commission and information issued by your universities. Please make sure you stay up-to-date with the information provided by your home and well as receiving university and contact them (via mail or telephone) in case of doubts. 

List of references:

[1] Journal of Laws: http://monitorpolski.gov.pl/DU, in particular: 

[2] PKP (Polish Railways): https://www.intercity.pl/en/informacje-dla-osob-podrozujacych-pociagami-pkp-intercity-w-sprawie-koronawirusa-en.html
[3] Flixbus: https://global.flixbus.com/coronavirus-information
 

General information and recommendations regarding COVID-19

Please note that this is a new and highly contagious disease. However, outbreaks can be managed with appropriate measures (see below), and the vast majority of infected people will recover (Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves and others from the virus. (WHO source)

We therefore advise you to follow the WHO recommendations for the public:

  • Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

  • Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

General information were shared thanks to courtesy of ESN Austria.