Restrictions on the external and internal EU/Schengen borders due to the SARS-Cov-2 epidemic. Up-to-date information for travellers.
Valid from 18.12.2021.
In accordance with the provisions of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 6 May 2021 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with an epidemic  from 15 December 2021 to 31 January 2022 - every person crossing the border of the Republic of Poland, constituting the external border  (as a rule), is obliged to show a negative result of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (in Polish or English) to a Border Guard Officer (in Polish or English) that should be done, primarily before crossing the border, within 24 hours from the time this test result was obtained.
Refusal to show a negative result of such a test to a Border Guard Officer will mean the obligation to undergo a 14-day quarantine after crossing the border of the Republic of Poland, counting from the day after crossing the border. Travellers who are obliged to undergo a 14-day quarantine will be allowed, but not earlier than on the 8th day - counting from the day after crossing the border- to do a test (RTP-PCR), a negative result of which will be the basis for exemption from the quarantine.
From the above requirements, in the light of the amended Regulation of the Council of Ministers [i], the following categories of persons were exempted, i.e.:
- all persons who guarantee the continuity of the so-called "supply chain" enumerated in the catalogue covered by paragraph 3 section 1 of the above mentioned regulation (i.e. crews of aircraft, ships, inland navigation, seafarers, fishermen, drivers performing activities in the framework of international road transport, also as part of leisure, train manning, etc. ...).
- students studying in the Republic of Poland or in a neighbouring country and their guardians who cross the border with students to enable this education;
- children receiving pre-school education in the Republic of Poland or in a neighbouring country and their guardians who cross the border with their children in order to provide them with this education;
- persons who take the eighth-grade examination, A-levels exams, examinations confirming qualifications in an occupation or vocational examination, conducted by district examination boards, and their guardians;
- children under the age of 5
ATTENTION! the obligation to have any kind of negative results of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test (e.g. RTP-PCR, antigenic) after entry / arrival to the Republic of Poland from a third country, i.e. not belonging to the Schengen area or not being an EU Member State, does not exclude the application of the existing regulations in the scope of the catalogue of quarantine exemptions resulting from the provisions of paragraph 3 of the above-mentioned regulation.
Therefore, the persons listed in the catalogue of exemptions from the obligation to undergo a 14-day quarantine after entering the Republic of Poland (see respectively, the catalogue indicated in paragraph 3.2 and 3.3 of the Regulation), in order to be able to take advantage of the exemptions already granted to them, in the current legal and actual state, additionally should also have and show to a Border Guard Officer  the above-mentioned negative diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, which can be done in three variants:
- before crossing the border, within 24 hours from the moment of obtaining the result of this test.
- before border check - after arrival in the territory of the Republic of Poland at the airport,
- at the airport within 3 hours from the moment of crossing the border.
Important - in option 3, the exemption from quarantine will also apply to those travellers who were not able to perform the test either before their arrival to Poland or at the airport before the border check, where no such infrastructure was created. In this case, the procedure of exempting the traveller from the quarantine obligation will rest on the sanitary inspection, so the traveller using this option does not have to return to the border checks carried out by Border Guard officers.
ATTENTION!! Persons who are "not fully vaccinated", or who are not so-called "convalescents", or who are not subject to exemption from quarantine for another reason (paragraph 3 of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers), who started their journey before entering/arriving in the Republic of Poland from the territory of the Republic of Botswana, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Lesotho, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of South Africa, or the Republic of Zimbabwe will be unconditionally obliged to a 14-day quarantine, without the possibility of early release!
Sanitary restrictions related to crossing the border also apply at internal EU/Schengen borders:
- persons crossing the maritime section of the border of the Republic of Poland, who use regular ferry connections, and the land section of the border of the Republic of Poland with the Czech Republic, the Republic of Lithuania, the Federal Republic of Germany or the Slovak Republic (regardless of the means of transport they travel by or whether they go on foot):
- in order to go to his place of residence or stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland:
if they have a certificate confirming full vaccination or convalescent status or, alternatively, a negative diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, done prior to border crossing and meeting the following criteria:
- the test result was written in Polish or English,
- the test result is not older than 48 hours,
the test result clearly indicates that the traveler is not infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g. RT-PCR, antigenic or other detecting virus) are released from quarantine;
however, unless these persons are in possession any of the abovementioned documents, they are obliged to undergo quarantine by reporting themselves via the hotline to the Chief Sanitary Inspector (CSI phone number +48 22 25 00 115). In this case, release from quarantine will be possible after a negative SARS-CoV-2 test within 48 hours after crossing the border.
- for purposes other than returning to the place of residence or stay in the territory of the Republic of Poland (e.g. transit):
unless they are in possession of a certificate confirming full vaccination or convalescent status, they are absolutely obliged to have a negative result of the diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, done within 48 hours before entering the territory of the Republic of Poland;
However, persons who meet the conditions referred to in paragraph 3 section 1 and section 2 points 2, 3, 14, 15, 18 and 23 (Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 6 May 2021 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders, and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic) are released form the above requirement.
Persons traveling by air from the Schengen zone and EU Member States are required to have a negative result of the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test, which they should present at the request of a Border Guard officer. The test result, in Polish or English, must be obtained within 48 hours before crossing the border. The travelers referred to in paragraph 3 section 1 and section 2 points 2, 3, 14, 18 and 23 (Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 6 May 2021 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders, and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic).
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