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27 Mar 2020 | 07:13 AM UTC

Poland: Entry restrictions for foreign nationals extended until April 13 /update 5

Government extends entry restrictions for foreign nationals due to COVID-19 until April 13; confirm travel itineraries

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POL

Event

Polish officials announced on Wednesday, March 25, that the existing entry restrictions which bar all foreign nationals from entry, initially implemented from Sunday, March 15, to March 25, will be extended until Monday, April 13, to limit further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Under the first decree, all Polish citizens and residents are allowed to return to the country but will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. All international inbound flights and trains remain suspended with the exception of some charter flights transporting returning Poles.

On Tuesday, March 24, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced a series of new domestic restrictions. Individuals are prohibited from leaving their homes except for essential activities. The prime minister also implemented a ban on gatherings of more than two people, excluding families. No more than five people are allowed to take part in religious services including funerals. These restrictions will remain in place until at least Saturday, April 11.

To date, there are 1244 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Poland, including 16 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.