Amid fears of an increase in cases of the COVID-19 virus and the discovery of the new Omicron variant, Poland’s Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska announced that from next Wednesday, December 15, travelers from countries outside the European Union will be required to undergo testing before entering Poland.
However, it has been clarified that only third-country travelers who have not been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 disease will meet the testing requirements, TheSchengen.com reports.
This means that those who have completed their vaccination and who have previously contracted the virus are included in the exemption list. Children under the age of 12 traveling with a vaccinated or recovered guardian are also exempt from the test requirement.
Poland currently only recognizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests, which must be performed within 48 hours prior to entry.
In contrast, stricter entry procedures apply to travelers who have not been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus. Since December 1, travelers without a vaccination or refund certificate are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement. The quarantine period can be shortened by taking a second test on the eighth day.
“Passengers subject to quarantine in Poland will be able, no later than the eighth day from the day following the date on which the border was crossed, to undergo a test, with a negative result meaning exemption from quarantine,” a statement reads by the Polish government.
The quarantine requirement does not apply to those who leave the territory of Poland within 24 hours of entry.
Regardless of the above requirements, everyone, regardless of their country of origin, is required to fill out an entry form before arriving on Polish territory.
Although Poland has not reported any cases of Omicron infection so far, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the country recorded 163,67 new cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days.
Regarding vaccination rates, figures from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that as of December 8, more than 20.6 million people have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
Except for changes affecting foreign travelers, the Polish authorities have announced that stricter restrictions will also apply to citizens of the country. From December 15, the current maximum capacity of 75 percent for restaurants, bars, hotels, theaters, hotels and some other venues will be reduced to 50 percent.
However, fully vaccinated Polish citizens and travelers will not face any restrictions.
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