With millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses already distributed worldwide, several countries are amending their entry requirements to reflect this growing population of vaccinated travellers. The latest nation to make a change to its restrictions is Poland, which recently announced that fully vaccinated travellers will be exempt from the mandatory quarantine. But there’s a catch to the new rule. By Jessica Poitevien
First and foremost, travellers must come from a place that Poland is already allowing into the country. Admission to Poland is currently restricted to citizens and legal residents of European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia, as well as their spouses and children.
Polish law requires travellers to quarantine for 10 days, but this mandate was waived last month for passengers who are able to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, as long as that result was obtained within 48 hours of their entry. Now, the rules have been updated to include vaccinated travellers as well.
According to Lonely Planet, this is just one move of many that Poland has taken to slowly return to some semblance of normalcy. The country has allowed ski slopes to reopen for a two-week trial period, while museums, art galleries, and shopping centres reopened on February 1. Cinemas, theatres, opera houses, and hotels have also been permitted to reopen, albeit with a limited capacity of 50 per cent. Meanwhile, restaurants have yet to return to normal operations. Currently, they can only serve takeout. Wearing masks and adhering to social distancing is also mandatory.
Poland is not the only country to ease its travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers. In January, Romania lifted its quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers, while the country of Georgia announced a similar policy change just last week. Other countries, however, are still keeping their guards up. Australian officials have already said that the country will not eliminate its quarantine requirement for vaccinated travellers.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel+Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides travelling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.