Borders of the Republic of Poland open since 13 June

Borders of the Republic of Poland open since 13 June – only random checks are to be carried out

On the night of 12-13 June, Poland restored full border traffic within the so-called internal borders of the European Union.

The above results from the amendment of the following domestic regulations:

  • Ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration of 11 June 2020 amending the ordinance on the temporary reintroduction of border control of persons crossing the internal border constituting the internal border (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1029);
  • Ordinance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration of 11 June 2020 amending the ordinance on temporary suspension or limitation of border traffic at specific border crossings (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1030);
  • Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of June 12, 2020 amending the ordinance on establishing certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of the state of the epidemic (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1031).

As a result of the very relax at border crossing, border authorities can now carry out checks on the Polish side only at random. It also means the lifting of the quarantine obligation for persons entering Poland from EU Member States – also applicable in relation to persons who are unable to prove that they work in an EU or EEA country.

Restrictions to remain when entering Poland from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia

Restrictions – as they are today – are set to remain at the entry to Poland from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (i.e. on the so-called EU external borders). This means that entry from these directions to Poland will, in principle, also involve quarantine.

The following categories of persons can enter Poland from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia:

  1. citizens of the Republic of Poland,
  2. foreigners who are spouses or children of citizens of the Republic of Poland or who remain under their permanent care,
  3. foreigners who have the so-called Pole’s Card,
  4. heads of the diplomatic missions and members of the mission’s diplomatic and consular staff, i.e. persons with a diplomatic rank and members of their families,
  5. foreigners who have the right of permanent or temporary residence on the territory of the Republic of Poland,
  6. foreigners who have the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland, i.e. foreigners entitled to work on the same terms as Polish citizens, who have a work permit, a certificate of entry in the register regarding seasonal work, a statement on entrusting work to a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland who:
    – perform work on the territory of the Republic of Poland or
    – are able to produce documents indicating that taking up work will start immediately after crossing the border,
  7. foreigners who drive a means of transport for the transport of persons or goods, and their transit takes place as part of their professional activities consisting in the transport of goods or the transport of persons,
  8. drivers performing road transport as part of international road transport or international combined transport going via the territory of the Republic of Poland by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport:
    – to receive rest on the territory of the country of stay,
    – after receiving the rest referred to above abroad and after a break in the performance of work in the circumstances specified in the Drivers’ Working Time Act,
  9. pupils and students receiving education in Poland,
  10. citizens of European Union Member States, European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) Member States – parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation and their spouses and children, in order to travel through the territory of the Republic of Poland to their place of residence or stay,
  11. foreigners with a permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s European Union residence permit, in the territory of other European Union Member States, a Member State, the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation and their spouses and children, to travel through the territory of the Republic of Poland, to the place of residence or stay.

Quarantine and exceptions

At the same time, all the above-mentioned persons coming over to Poland from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia must provide their location data and undergo an obligatory 14-day home quarantine.

After crossing the Polish border, the following categories of persons are exempt from quarantine:

  • EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, and their spouses and children in order to travel through the territory of Poland to their place of residence or stay,
  • foreigners with a permanent residence permit or a long-term resident’s European Union residence permit for the purpose of crossing the territory of other European Union Member States, a Member State, the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) – parties of the agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, and their spouses and children, in order to travel through the territory of the Republic of Poland to their place of residence or stay.

The deadline for opening borders recommended by the European Commission

The European Parliament in its resolution of 17 April 2020 on the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic expressed the position that border controls and restrictions on movement must remain commensurate and extraordinary and that all freedom of movement should be restored as soon as possible.

However, on May 13 this year the European Commission has proposed a gradual, coordinated approach to restoring freedom of movement and lifting controls at the internal borders in the EU. On 11 June, due to the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the EU, the Commission recommended Member States to lift restrictions by 15 June 2020.

Poland acts in line with these recommendations.