Coronavirus regulations and restrictions in Poland

Last update: May 24

Air and railway transport in Poland 

  • International passenger air transport remains suspended until June 6.
  • Domestic passenger air transport remains suspended until May 31.
  • LOT Polish Airlines resumes DOMESTIC passenger flights on June 1.
  • LOT Polish Airlines INTERNATIONAL passenger flights scheduled until June 14 inclusive are canceled.
  • The government announced on May 22 that the restoration of passenger international air connections in Poland will take place in three phases:
    • As the first from June 1, domestic flights will resume.
    • European connections – in the second phase, resumption of passenger flights to European countries in which the pandemic situation is under control and not worse than in Poland (the date is not set yet)
    • Intercontinental connections – the third phase will include intercontinental connections, but also to those countries where the pandemic situation is under control.
  • International passenger railway transport remains suspended until further notice.
  • PKP Intercity resumed rail DOMESTIC transport via Pendolino trains.

Changes in obligatory quarantine after crossing the Polish border (effective on May 16)

  • Persons crossing the Polish border for professional and business purposes performed in Poland or in an EU or EEA country are exempt from quarantine. This also applies to people working in Switzerland and Great Britain.
  • Children attending kindergarten, pupils and students crossing the Polish border are exempt from quarantine only if they are studying in Poland or a neighboring country. Their guardians crossing the border with them are also not quarantined.

Schools – updates:

  • The Ministry of National Education announced that schools will remain closed until June 7.
  • An additional care allowance (zasiłek opiekuńczy) for parents of children under 8 years old is extended until June 14. The allowance will also be granted to those parents who decide that their child won’t go to nursery/kindergarten/school (even if it’s opened).
  • Reopening (from May 25) of primary schools (szkoła podstawowa) for children of grades 1-3. Daycare will be provided for children whose parents decide for their children to go to school (in Polish: świetlica). Depending on the situation in a given school, the headmaster will decide whether the particular school will continue online education or will go back to regular classes at school. 
  • From May 25, high school graduates and students in 8th grades can consult their teachers in schools (individually or in small groups).
  • From June 1, consultations at schools with teachers will be possible also for other students.
  • From May 17, the ban for children under the age of 13 to leave the home without adult supervision is lifted.

Reopening of restaurants, bars, cafes, food courts from May 18

  • The restaurant customer will be able to eat a meal both inside the restaurant and in the restaurant garden.
  • Limit of people in the restaurant: at least 4 m² per person.
  • A 2-meter distance between tables.
  • Restaurant guests can take their masks off when they are already at the tables.
  • Mandatory hand disinfection by customers at the entrance to the restaurant.
  • The restaurant is obliged to provide employees with disposable gloves or hand sanitizers.
  • In the case of waiters and cashiers, it is recommended to wear masks and gloves or disinfect hands after each service.
  • Detailed guidelines (in Polish).

Reopening of hairdressing salons from May 18

  • Hairdressers can only accept clients by appointment – next customers cannot wait at the hair salon.
  • Beauty salon employees are to wear masks and gloves when performing the service.
  • Customers are required to wear masks + obligation to wear disposable gloves or disinfect hands.
  • A ban on using cell phones in hair salons.
  • Detailed guidelines (in Polish).

Reopening of beauty salons from May 18

  • Beauty salons can only accept clients by appointment – next customers cannot wait at the hair salon.
  • Hairdressers are to wear masks and gloves when performing the service (it’s not necessary if the specifics of a given treatment require it).
  • Customers are required to wear masks and disposable gloves (if possible due to the type of treatment).
  • A ban on using cell phones in beauty salons.
  • Detailed guidelines (in Polish).

Other changes from May 18

  • Increased passenger limit in public transportation.
  • Increased limit of people in the church (from Sunday, May 17).
  • Increased limit of people who can exercise at outdoor sports facilities:
    • on open full-size football fields – up to 22 people (+ 4 coaches),
    • on stadiums, fields, tracks, skate parks – up to 14 people (+ 2 coaches).
  • The possibility of organizing classes in INDOOR sports facilities with the limit of participants.
  • Outdoor cinemas (including drive-in cinemas) will be allowed.
  • Resumption of individual classes at art colleges.
  • Universities and collages: resumption of classes at universities (for final year students) and classes that cannot be conducted online.

Border control and closure of Polish borders for foreigners extended to June 12

Closure of borders. The list of people who can enter Poland includes:

  • Polish citizens
  • Foreigners who are spouses of Polish nationals
  • Foreigners who are children of Polish nationals
  • Holders of a Pole’s Card (Karta Polaka)
  • Diplomats and their families
  • Foreigners who hold the right to permanent or temporary stay in Poland
  • Foreigners who have a valid work permit
  • In particularly justified cases, the province/voivodship governor (wojewoda) may grant a foreigner permission to enter Poland.

Suspension of air transport in Poland 

  • International and domestic passenger air transport remains suspended until May 23.
  • All LOT Polish Airlines passenger flights (domestic and international) scheduled until May 31 inclusive are canceled.

Schools, kindergartens, nurseries, universities

  • The PUBLIC nurseries and kindergartens in Warsaw will be opened from May 18. 27% of Warsaw families declared that their children will go to kindergartens, and 34% in the case of nurseries (data announced on May 12).
  • Schools remain closed until June 7.
  • On May 5, the minister of education announced in an interview that the postponement of the end of the school year is not taken into account (it’s scheduled for June 26).
  • Nurseries and kindergartens may be opened from May 6.
  • Decisions to open a kindergarten or nursery will be taken individually for each nursery and kindergarten by their founding authorities. In the case of private kindergartens, the owner decides; in case of state kindergartens – local government decides.
  • The government’s guidelines for nurseries (for children up to 3 years old) which decide to open on May 6 (in Polish).
  • The government’s guidelines for kindergartens which decide to open on May 6 (in Polish).
  • The guidelines for kindergartens and nurseries by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (in Polish).
  • High school final exams (matura) will take place from from June 8 to June 29 (there will be no oral exams, only written).
  • Primary school final exams / eighth grade exam (egzamin ósmoklasisty) will take place from June 16 to June 18.

Other changes and updates:

  • All LOT Polish Airlines passenger flights (domestic and international) scheduled until May 31 inclusive are canceled.
  • Lifting the obligation to keep a 2 m distance between persons if they “live together”.
  • From May 4 – canceling “shopping hours for seniors” (stores from 10 am to 12 pm used to be open only to people over 65 years of age).
  • It was decided to open kiosks (in Polish wyspa handlowa) in shopping centers.
  • From May 6 – you can use city bikes.
  • It has been clarified that the additional care allowance (zasiłek opiekuńczy) until May 24 will be also paid to parents who decide that the child will not go to kindergarten / nursery (even when the kindergarten / nursery is open).

Changes in COVID restrictions in Poland from May 4 

Hotels are opened 

  • Swimming pools, gyms, playing rooms in hotels will be closed.
  • Hotel restaurant operations are still limited. Hotel restaurants can serve meals to hotel guests in their rooms. They cannot serve meals on site at the restaurant.
  • Hotel and accommodation services may be provided with specific rules (in Polish).

Shopping centers and construction stores are opened 

  • Shopping centers open but with a limit on the number of people: there must be 15 sq m of retail space per person (the sales area does not include the area of corridors).
  • It was decided to open kiosks (in Polish wyspa handlowa) in shopping centers.
  • Fitness clubs and recreational space in shopping centers (eg. playgrounds) will remain closed.
  • Construction stores will be open during weekends.

Access to open-air sports facilities

  • Up to 6 people: stadiums, playing fields, golf courses, horse riding facilities and open air facilities such as shooting ranges, archery tracks, go-kart tracks, roller-skating tracks.
  • Up to 2 people: canoe, boat, pedalo/paddle boat.
  • Up to 4 people per 1 tennis court (open and semi-open).
  • The obligation to cover your face when you reach a sports facility, while when you are on e.g. a pitch you are not obliged to cover your face.

The ban on libraries and museums is lifted 

  • Cultural institutions will be opened gradually and at different times.
  • The authority running the given institution will decide about the specific date after consultation with the epidemiological authorities.
  • They will remain closed until further notice: theaters, cinemas, concert halls, galleries and exhibition halls, houses and cultural centers.

The ban on medical rehabilitation is lifted

  • Medical rehabilitation will be open to people who are sick or have pain.
  • Massage parlors remain closed.

Shopping, restaurants, services during COVID-19 lockdown in Poland, applicable until further notice

  • More people allowed in the shop at one time: the maximum number of people in stores with an area of less than 100 m²: the number of all cash registers multiplied by 4. In stores larger than 100 m2, there must be at least 15 m2 of space per 1 person.
  • The maximum number of people in a marketplace or bazaar (targ / bazarek) is the number of outlets multiplied by 4. So if there are 20 shops in the local bazaar, there can be a maximum of 80 clients at one time.
  • There can be as many people in the post office as the number of service points multiplied by 2. If there are 5 service points at the post office there can be 10 people at the same time.

Movement of people during COVID-19 lockdown in Poland, applicable until further notice

  • To obligation to keep at least 2 m distance from other pedestrians (the rule does NOT apply to parents with children who need care (up to 13 years old), disabled people, and people who live together).
  • It’s allowed to enter forests and parks, as well as run or ride a bike (you can stay outside only if you keep 2 m social distance and cover your face).
  • Playgrounds remain CLOSED.
  • All gatherings, meetings, events are prohibited. Workplaces are excluded.
  • Obligation to cover the mouth and nose with a face mask or clothing in public places.

Obligation to cover the mouth and nose with a face mask or clothing until further notice

  • In public places, including streets and squares, parks, workplaces, in public buildings (offices, courts, churches, banks, post offices etc.).
  • The obligation applies also to people riding a bicycle or scooter.
  • In commercial and service facilities, stores, marketplaces.
  • Using public transportation or in a car (only when passengers of a car don’t live together).
  • In staircases, elevators, laundries, underground parking lots, basements, and other common areas used by the residents.
The obligation does NOT apply to:
  • A child up to 4 years old.
  • A car in which 1 person or 1 person with a child up to 4 years old drives.
  • People traveling by car – if the passengers live together.
  • People who cannot cover their mouth or nose because of their health, disorders, intellectual disability.
  • If we are in a private area, i.e. on the terrace or in the private garden, we do not need to cover our faces.
  • It has been clarified that in the forest there is no obligation to cover your face (but you still need to do it eg. in the parking lot before entering the forest).

The mouth and nose can be covered with a scarf or other piece of clothing. There is no obligation to use only face masks. The Minister of Health was asked on April 16 how long we will have to wear face masks. His answer: – Until the vaccine was invented.

Changes in the operation of post offices in Poland

  • Sending parcels to selected countries has been restored (the list on the countries).
  • There can be as many people in the post office as the number of service points multiplied by 2. If there are 5 service points at the post office there can be 10 people at the same time.
  • The working hours of post offices are changing to 6 hours a day. The operation of 24-hour branches is shortened, they will be open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. Here you can check the opening hours of your post office.
  • Post offices located in shopping malls are closed.
  • April 22 update: registered letter (list polecony) can be delivered to the addressee’s mailbox.

Some grocery stores in Poland have changed their opening hours

  • Lidl stores are open 6 am – 12 am. Selected Lidl stores are open around the clock (with a 1-hour break at 3 am when the store is closed). The list of Lidl stores and their opening hours.
  • Biedronka stores are open 6 am – 12 am. Selected Biedronka stores are open around the clock.
  • Auchan stores are open 6.30 am – 9 pm.
  • Netto stores are open 7 am – 9 pm.
  • Kaufland stores are open 6 am – 12 am.
  • Grocery stores, drugstores, and pharmacies Monday-Friday from 10 am to 12 pm are open only to people over 65 years of age.

Contactless cards – an increase of contactless payment (płatność zbliżeniowa) limit in Poland

  • The limit of contactless transactions (no need to key our PIN) in Poland has been increased from 50 PLN to 100 PLN. 
  • With Apple Pay, you have contactless payments for every purchase, regardless of the price.

Sunday trade ban – no changes

There’ve been some misinterpretations of the government announcement of planned changes in the Sunday trade ban. The changes only enable stores to be stocked on Sundays to be ready for Monday trade. The schedule of shopping Sundays in Poland hasn’t been changed so far. Click here to check the next shopping Sundays in Poland.

Shipping / couriers in Poland

  • DPD informs on its website that transport and delivery in Poland are carried out smoothly. Extended (1-2 days) transport times of export shipments are expected due to border controls across Europe. DPD road shipments – exclusions and suspensions of an international wheeled service can be found here.
  • Poland is not listed on the UPS service alerts website (“Service continuing normally”).
  • InPost informs that from March 16 parcels ordered to a parcel locker (paczkomat) will be waiting for pickup, as before – for 48 hours. After this period, unclaimed shipments will not be sent back to the InPost Branch but will be returned directly to the sender. InPost also introduces a similar change for courier deliveries – if the parcels cannot be delivered directly to the recipient (InPost makes two delivery attempts), the items will go to the sender.
  • DHL informs that the operational network in Poland operates unchanged, which means that all DHL Parcel domestic services are available (they do not deliver to consumers on Saturdays). As for international parcels, DHL informs that they still provide parcel transport services in most areas in Europe, however, some regions are on lockdown (eg. part of Italy, Spain, and Austria) which impact the deliveries.

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