Poland announces mandatory testing requirement for non-EU travelers from December 15

Amid concerns about rising cases of COVID-19 infection and the detection of the new Omicron variant, Polish Deputy Minister of Health Waldemar Kraska announced that from next Wednesday, December 15, travelers from non-European Union countries will need to undergo testing before entering Poland.

Nevertheless, it was explained that only travelers from third countries who have not been fully vaccinated or cured of the COVID-19 disease will be subject to the test obligation, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

This means that those who have completed their vaccination process and those who have already been infected with the virus fall under the exemption list. Also exempt from the testing requirement are children under 12 who are traveling with a vaccinated or recovered guardian.

Poland currently only recognizes PCR and rapid antigen tests, which must be taken within 48 hours before entry.

On the other hand, stricter entry measures apply to travelers who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered from the virus. Since December 1, travelers who do not hold a vaccination or recovery certificate are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The quarantine period can be shortened by taking a second test on the eighth day.

“Travelers subject to quarantine in Poland will be able, at the earliest on the 8th 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” , reads the statement of the Polish government.

The quarantine requirement does not apply to those who leave Polish territory within 24 hours of entry.

In addition to the above requirements, everyone, regardless of their country of origin, is required to complete an entry form before reaching Polish territory.

Even though Poland has not yet reported any cases of Omicron infection, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the country has recorded 163.67 new cases of COVID-19 infection in course of the last 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 the changes that affect foreign travellers, Polish authorities have announced that stricter restrictions will also apply to citizens of the country. From December 15, the current population capacity limit of 75% set for restaurants, bars, hotels, theaters, hotels and certain other places will be reduced to 50%.

Nevertheless, Polish citizens and fully vaccinated travelers will not be subject to any restrictions.

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