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Poland: Current travel restrictions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Poland adopted regulations temporarily restricting entry to Poland of non-Polish citizens.

Based on these regulations, only Polish citizens and the following foreign citizens are allowed to enter Polish territory:

  • spouses or children of Polish citizens or persons remaining under permanent care of Polish citizens;
  • persons holding a Polish Card (Karta Polaka);
  • heads of diplomatic missions and diplomatic and consular staff members and their families (in particular persons of a diplomatic degree);
  • persons who are entitled to permanent or temporary residence in Poland;
  • persons entitled to work in Poland, i.e. entitled to work on the same terms as Polish citizens who have a work permit, a permit for seasonal work or a statement on entrusting work to a foreigner,, who also:
    • perform work on the territory of Poland or
    • present documents showing that the commencement of work will begin immediately after crossing the border;
  • haulage drivers transporting goods.

The above means that foreigners entitled to visa-free movement, holders of Schengen (type C) visas and holders of national (D) visas, in cases not related to work, are not entitled to enter Poland on this basis. The same applies to foreigners who applied for temporary or permanent residence and their cases are still pending.

Citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland who work in Poland, but are released from the obligation to hold work permits and residence permits should be able to prove their employment and / or residence in Poland with other documents (e.g. a certificate issued by their employer, proof of registration of stay in Poland) to be allowed to enter Polish territory.

In particularly justified cases, not listed above, the commander of a Border Guard post may allow a foreign citizen to enter the territory of Poland after a permit has been obtained from  the head of the Border Guard.

Foreign citizens who are exempt from the entry restrictions (Polish citizens entering Poland from abroad) are subject to a mandatory 14 -day quarantine upon entry. The quarantine is at the person’s place of residence in Poland or, if this is not possible, in a place specified by the province governor (local authority). The quarantine does not apply to:

  • bus drivers;
  • drivers transporting goods or entering Poland for the purpose of loading goods or transiting Poland (within international transportation of goods).
  • Polish citizens working abroad and foreign citizens working in Poland crossing the border commuting to work (to a neighboring country)  on a daily basis.

Foreigners are still allowed to leave Poland without restrictions. However, currently this is possible mostly by land (cars or buses) as most international plane and rail connections are generally suspended.

Magdalena Świtajska, adwokat, Employment law practice, Wardyński & Partners

Article first published on hrlaw.pl