Coronavirus situation in Poland

Last update: April 6

New restrictions announced on March 31, entering into force on April 1 

  • Grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies from 10 am to 12 pm are open only to people over 65 years of age.
  • Ban for children to leave the home without a parent/an adult (any person under 18 can leave the house only with a parent/an adult).
  • The list of people who will be subject to mandatory home quarantine is expanded. It will cover everyone who lives with a person quarantined. The rules will apply to people who are in one apartment with people quarantined from April 1.
  • Hotels and other accommodation operating on a short-term rental basis are closed. However, this does not apply to persons who are on a business trip and use accommodation services as part of their duties. Hotels remain open for these people.
  • From April 2, all customers will shop in disposable gloves. The stores will have to provide customers with gloves.
  • All construction stores will be closed on weekends (grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores open as usual).
  • The limit was introduced for number of people staying at the same time in a shop, a bank, etc. Maximum three people for one cash register. If there are five cash registers, there can be 15 people in the shop at the same time.
  • All beauty and hairdressing salons are closed. These services will also not be available outside the salons – e.g. home visits are not an option.
  • Rehabilitation treatments and massages are suspended – both in public and private facilities. The exceptions are situations in which rehabilitation is absolutely required by the patient’s state of health.
  • It is forbidden to go to parks, squares, boulevards (“a ban on going to beaches and green areas serving public functions”).
  • An obligation to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters between pedestrians. This applies to families too. Parents with children requiring care (up to 13 years old), as well as disabled persons and persons unable to move independently are excluded from this obligation.

Changes in Easter holidays celebrations in Poland due to coronavirus situation, online services

According to current government regulations (in force until April 11), no more than 5 people may attend a mass or other religious event at the same time (5 people + the priest). From April 12 – Holy Sunday – the regulations are changing. From that day, as many as 50 people will be able to participate in the mass, including priests.

The Catholic Church in Poland has granted, until further notice, a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

  • April 11

Holy Saturday (Wielka Sobota)
In Poland, there is a tradition that people on Holy Saturday bring to church baskets (called in Polish święconka) filled with food to get a special blessing. In 2020, due to the coronavirus situation, the blessing of food in churches is canceled. Instead, church authorities recommend saying a prayer before eating at home.

  • April 12

Easter Day (Wielkanoc
Easter Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. Many people in Poland start the day with 6 am morning mass (Rezurekcja) with a procession. In 2020, due to coronavirus situation, all the processions are canceled.

Online services – live videos
It’s relatively easy to find online services in English. If you would like to watch live mass in Polish celebrated in one of the catholic churches in Poland, here are some options: Artistic Communities’ Church in Warsaw: Sundays 10.30 am, 1 pm (dedicated to children), 5 pm (Facebook live video), Church of St. Anthony of Padua in Warsaw/Franciscans: Sundays 12.30 pm (Facebook live video, YouTube channel), Parish of St. Dominic Warsaw-Służew/Dominicans: Sundays 6 pm (YouTube channel), Dominicans in Warsaw/Freta Street: Sundays 10.30 am (dedicated to families), 4 pm, 7.30 pm, 9.30 pm (YouTube channel), The Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Sundays: 8 am (YouTube channel).

Border control – extended until April 13

  • On March 25, the government decided that border control at the internal border (with Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia) would be extended for another 20 days – until April 13.
  • Closing borders does not mean closing the transport of goods.
  • Restrictions for foreigners entering Poland have been prolonged too. 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.

Restrictions on the movement of people in Poland: an obligation to stay at home until April 11 inclusive

  • On March 24, the government has announced new regulations applicable until April 11 inclusive: an obligation to stay at home and an absolute ban on all kinds of gatherings, meetings, and events. However, you will be able to meet your relatives or loved ones and participate in religious events (no more than 5 people may attend a mass or other religious event at the same time).

  • You can only move in a group of up to two people (this restriction does NOT apply to families).

  • Public transportation: on the bus, tram or subway only half the seats can be occupied.

  • Restrictions and a ban apply to the playgrounds.

The restriction to stay at home does NOT apply to:

  • commute to work (you do not need to have any certificate from your employer)
  • doing things necessary for everyday life, like shopping, a visit to a doctor, buying medicines, looking after relatives, walking the dog
  • volunteering and helping others with the regard to coronavirus situation
  • a walk or going to the forest but with restrictions on the distance from others and limit of people moving (maximum two people, excluding families). However, the government recommends limiting walks to a minimum.
  • one-time sports activities like recreational cycling or jogging. However, remember to keep a proper distance from others and to play sports in a group of up to two (this does not apply to families).

Schools in Poland closed until April 13

  • Schools, kindergartens, nurseries, universities are closed until Easter holidays (Monday, April 13 is a bank holiday in Poland).

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

Good news – the limit of contactless transactions (no need to key our PIN) in Poland is increased from 50 PLN to 100 PLN. 

Visa has introduced changes on Friday, March 20, and Mastercard on Saturday, March 21.

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.

Ban on non-essential travel to the European Union – European Union closes all external borders for (at least) 30 days

The measure applies to EU states and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

The time and implementation of this measurement is the responsibility of individual countries (it is not clear when the restriction will enter into force, because different countries may have different procedures on this matter).

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals, EXCEPT FOR:

  • long-term residents
  • family members of EU nationals and diplomats
  • cross-border and healthcare workers
  • people transporting goods.

What’s open and what’s closed in Poland?

  • Stores in Poland.

Grocery stores, stores offering clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, tools, and other goods remain OPEN.

Only the stores (clothing, jewelry etc.) that are located in shopping malls (galerie handlowe) are CLOSED. In shopping malls, the following stores are still OPEN:

  • banks,
  • grocery stores,
  • pharmacies,
  • drugstores,
  • laundries.

Restrictions apply from March 14 until further notice. After 14 days, the Ministry of Health will examine the possibility of changing the decision if the situation improves. It means that about March 26 the government will provide information on further steps.

  • Post offices (Poczta Polska).

As of March 16, Polish post offices do not send parcels to other countries. 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. Post offices located in shopping malls are closed.

  • Shipping / couriers in Poland.

DPD informs on its website (as of March 28) that transport and delivery in Poland are carried out according to the existing rules and that extended (1-2 days) transport times of export shipments are expected due to border controls across Europe. DPD air shipments – from Monday, March 30 the possibility of sending parcels outside the European Union is resumed. Parcels to EU countries are accepted normally. DPD road shipments – exclusions and suspensions of an international wheeled service can be found here.

Poland is not listed (as of March 28) on the UPS service alerts website.

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 (March 28) that the operational network in Poland operates unchanged, which means that all DHL Parcel domestic services are available. 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.

  • Gyms, swimming pools, dance clubs, fitness clubs, museums, libraries, cinemas in Poland are CLOSED.

  • Restaurants in Poland.

Restaurants and cafes can only provide take-out and delivery servicesRestrictions apply from March 14 until further notice.

Entering and leaving Poland

All below regulations apply from midnight on Saturday, March 14.

  • International passenger air and rail transport in Poland is suspended.

The restrictions apply only to the transport of people and not goods.

  • In general, foreigners are not allowed to enter Poland.

The list of people who can enter Poland (by car or by bus) 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.

  • Special charter flights.

Despite the suspension of international air connections, all charter planes that had previously planned flights will be admitted to Poland (with Polish citizens on board and entitled foreigners listed above). Additionally, LOT Polish Airlines will organize special charter flights to various regions of the world for Polish citizens and entitled foreigners who want to return to Poland. On the special LOT Polish Airlines’ website you can check currently available charter connections and also report the need for a charter flight.

  • The full border control is introduced on all Polish borders. On March 25, the government decided that border control at the internal border (with Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) would be extended for another 20 days – until April 13.

  • It is possible to leave Poland by road (by car or by bus).

  • All people arriving from abroad are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

  • Domestic passenger transport.

As of March 16, domestic air passenger connections are suspended. From March 17, due to lower number of passengers, PKP Polish railway has been reducing the frequency of some trains.

Our new post includes the list of online grocery stores that deliver in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Katowice area, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot.

Online grocery shopping in Poland: Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Katowice area, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot

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