The situation in Poland in the view of the coronavirus pandemic looks pretty optimistic. It looks like we will be able to go back to the “new normality” by the summer season. The goverment has already started the process of opening up the economy.
It is better than it seems
The situation in Poland looks optimistic compared to other European countries. The current numbers are: 21 867 coronavirus cases, 1013 deaths and 10 020 recovered (May 26th 2020). For the past weeks the curve of daily coronavirus cases has flattened. Despite the fact that the number of the infected has not drastically declined yet (there are around 300 new cases of coronavirus each day), the government has started the process of opening up different sectors of Polish economy and limiting the restrictions imposed on the public between March 12th and April 1st.
What is allowed now
The first stage of loosening the restrictions was introduced on April 20th. From that day more people have been allowed into stores and supermarkets at the same time (here we mean stores with first-need products, hardware stores are subject to other, more severe restrictions). The same applies to places of religious cult – more people can take part in a church service. The permission that most people had been waiting for was to leave the house for recreational purposes. Public parks and forests have been opened for the public. You can also go jogging or ride a bike (provided it is necessary for your mental health). The rules of social distancing still apply – you need to keep a 2-metre distance from one another (exception applies for parents with small children) and wear protective masks in public spaces.
The second stage was introduced on May 4th, when the shopping malls, libraries and some sports facitlities (football fields, practice & school fields) reopened. What is particularily important for the tourist industry, hotels and guesthouses can accept tourists again. Also, from May 4th museums can be open for visitors. More and more museums are now opening their doors for the toursits, among others the Royal Castle in Warsaw and Wawel Castle in Krakow. We still need to wait for some museums to adjust to the new sanitary regulations, so that they can welcome new tourists (for example Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, expected to reopen in July). We have some good news for travel-lovers, though. Most of the Polish mountain trails are accessible (all of them in the Tatra mountains). Instead of spending your vacation in closed spaces, you can enjoy active recreation in the open air. Speaking of which, from May 4th you are allowed to do attend the following open-air objects: horse riding schools, golf courses, shooting ranges, archery fields, go-kart tracks, tennis courts and others. You can also take helicopter flights and do water sports such as kayaking or waterbiking. You can also join the famous rafting on the Dunajec river! Of course, limits in numbers are still in force. For example, one raft, having capacity for 12 passengers, can now only take up to 6 people.
On May 18th, the third stage came to life, which involved opening hair&beauty salons. Also, restaurants can serve food inside again. Up until that point, they could only sell takeaway food. The waiters can serve tables both inside and outside. The tables, of course, must be located in an appropriate distance from one another.
What will be allowed soon
We are still waiting for the forth stage, when gyms, fitness clubs, swimming pools, theatres and cinemas will hopefully reopen. Also, places of entertainment in closed spaces should be reopened soon: bowling alles, trampoline parks, skate parks, table tennis and squash arenas and others. What is more, the next stage forsees to enable sports events up to 50 people (in the open space and without the audience).
The new announcements about when the fourth stage will come into life will be published in the next couple of days. We believe that by the summer season all the stages will come into force.
The last questions that remains unanswered is when the borders will reopen. At the moment the tentative opening date is scheduled on June 15th, however the government is reserving the right to postpone this date until further notice. We will keep updating you as the situation develops. The ban does not apply to citizens of Poland, foreigners who are spouses or children of citizens of Poland or who have a work permit, holders of the Pole’s Card and diplomats. At the moment, every person who comes to Poland from abroad is obliged to undergo a 14-day home quarantine.
We hope the borders will open by summertime, which will mean that flights to Poland will start operating again. That is a big hope for all the people who booked their tours to Poland for the second half of the year. We keep fingers crossed!