Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 quarantine and isolation regulations in Poland

What is quarantine?

Quarantine is the isolation of a healthy person due to exposure to infection, e.g. after contact with a person suffering from coronavirus.

The new Polish regulations introduce the concept of ISOLATION (izolacja)). Quarantine (kwarantanna) applies to healthy (not infected) people who have had contact with COVID-19 patients. ISOLATION applies to people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. You will find more info about the isolation at the end of our post.

Who is quarantined in Poland?

  1. People who are referred for the SARS-CoV-2 virus test.
  2. People who have had close contact with an infected person, e.g. at work or kindergarten.
  3. People living with an infected (isolated) person.
  4. Foreigners who cross the border of Poland which is the external border of the European Union.

Who is NOT quarantined in Poland?

  1. People living with a person in quarantine (for example, a child goes into quarantine because his/her teacher is infected with covid – the parents are not automatically quarantined for this reason). This is a change in regulations, previously all people living with someone in quarantine had to be quarantined too.
  2. People living with a person referred for the test while waiting for the test result by that person (both asymptomatic and showing symptoms – suspected of being infected with COVID-19). Only in the case of a positive test result, the people living with the infected person are quarantined (and the quarantine of the tested person turns into isolation).
  3. People who have previously completed hospitalization, isolation or home isolation due to coronavirus infection.
  4. Medical professionals (provided that the daily antigen test is performed for at least 7 days after the day of contact with the virus).

How long does a healthy person quarantine in Poland?

In general, the quarantine lasts for 10 days.

  1. The quarantine of the person referred to the covid test lasts from the day following the issuing of the referral by the doctor until receiving the negative result (which automatically relieves you from mandatory quarantine). The new regulations clarify that the quarantine does not last longer than 10 days (this solves the problem of waiting too long for the test result).
  2. People who have had close contact with an infected person are in quarantine for 10 days, counting from the day following the contact.
  3. People living with an infected (isolated) person are in quarantine from the day the infected person tested positive. This quarantine lasts for the entire period of isolation of the household member, plus 7 days after the isolation ends (this quarantine may last longer than 10 days!).
  4. Foreigners who cross the border of Poland which is the external border of the European Union are in a mandatory quarantine for 10 days (counting from the day following the border crossing).

How many days is the quarantine of a person who lives with someone infected with coronavirus?

The person you live with tested positive for coronavirus and HAS NO SYMPTOMS.

10 days + 7 days.

Example: The person you live with tested positive for coronavirus on November 10. From that day begins his/her isolation and quarantine of people who live with this person. A person is asymptomatic, so his/her isolation lasts 10 days – until November 20; the person is not subject to further quarantine. However, further quarantine applies to people living with the infected person and the quarantine lasts another 7 days (ending on November 27 in this example).

The person you live with tested positive for coronavirus and HAS SYMPTOMS.

13 days (or more, it depends on what day the infected person developed symptoms) + 7 days.

Example: The person you live with tested positive for coronavirus on November 10. From that day begins his/her isolation and quarantine of people who live with this person. The person is suffering from the coronavirus with symptoms that appeared on November 13. The patient contacts a health care physician who will decide to extend the isolation. The quarantine of people living with an infected person is also extended. The infected person’s isolation will end 13 days after the onset of symptoms, on November 26. The condition for the termination of isolation is that in the last 3 days of isolation (November 24, 25, 26) the person does not have symptoms of infection.

The infected person is not subject to further quarantine. However, further quarantine applies to people living with the infected person and the quarantine lasts another 7 days (ending on December 2 in this example).

How does quarantine in Poland start?

There are two ways to start quarantine:

  1. Quarantine begins after the sanitary inspection authority contacts the person at risk of infection. The person is then informed of the duration of the quarantine.
  2. There are also situations where the quarantine is independent of the sanitary inspection authority initiative -this is an automatic quarantine you have to start no matter if any authority contacts you.

When do you need to automatically quarantine yourself?

Cases of “automatic” quarantine, without contact from the authorities:

  • Quarantine for people who live with someone who has been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This quarantine lasts for the entire period of isolation of the household member who has been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, plus 7 days after the isolation ends.
  • Automatically imposed quarantine the day after the covid test is ordered by the primary care physician – it lasts until a negative result is obtained (if you receive a positive test result, you will be directed to isolation).
  • After crossing the European Union’s external borders (Polish border with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), there is a mandatory 10-day quarantine for foreigners (counting from the day following crossing the border).

Automatic quarantine notifications have been recently implemented. +48 22 10 43 705 is the number from which a message is sent about quarantining people who are in the government database and have a quarantine imposed.

The intention of the changes in the quarantine regulations (from November 3) was that people living with a person infected with the SARS-CoV-2 undergo actual quarantine from the moment the co-inhabitant obtained a positive test result, before the authorities of the Sanitary Inspection contact this person and enter their data into the system (which usually took several days).

What are the rules during quarantine in Poland?

  • You cannot leave your place of residence (the ban also includes walking the dog, going to the store or to the doctor).
  • In the event of symptoms of the disease (malaise, fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.), be sure to report it to your general practitioner (medical phone consultation).
  • It is mandatory to install the “Home Quarantine” application (Kwarantanna domowa). Here you will find more information about the application as well as links to install. Since which moment do you have to use the application? The obligation to install the application arises when you receive an SMS encouraging you to download and install the application. This SMS means that your data is already in the system and you can activate the application. Activate the application after arriving at the place of quarantine. Only adults (18+) are legally required to use the application.
  • You cannot change the quarantine address while the quarantine is in progress.
  • A person under quarantine does not need to obtain permission to leave the place of quarantine or isolation (or inform the police about it) if the purpose of leaving the apartment is to undergo a test.

Is quarantine obligatory after crossing the Polish border?

The Polish borders with the European Union countries are reopened from June 13, 2020 (NO border controls; NO mandatory quarantine).

However, after crossing the border of Poland which is the external border of the European Union (Polish borders with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus), there is a mandatory 10-day quarantine for foreigners. The following people do NOT have to undergo a mandatory quarantine after crossing the EU external border:

What is isolation?

Isolation applies to people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (quarantine turns into isolation).

After how many days is the isolation ending?

People without symptoms:

  • Isolation ends 10 days after obtaining a positive result (the preceding quarantine is not included in these 10 days).
  • For example: a person tested positive for coronavirus on November 10. His/her isolation begins from that day. A person is asymptomatic, so isolation lasts 10 days – until November 20.

People with symptoms:

  • Isolation ends 3 days after symptoms disappear, but not less than 13 days after symptoms appear.
  • For example: a person tested positive for coronavirus on November 10. His/her isolation begins from that day. The person is suffering from the coronavirus with symptoms that appeared on November 13. The patient contacts a health care physician who will decide to extend the isolation. This person’s isolation will end 13 days after the onset of symptoms, on November 26. However, the condition for the termination of isolation is that in the last 3 days of isolation (November 24, 25, 26) the person does not have symptoms of infection.

Can an isolated/quarantined person who lives in a house go outside in their own yard?

Yes, but the person must be careful and keep a distance from their neighbors.

Source of information: www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus.

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