News from Poland you might have missed recently. Posted by Kasia on Nov 19, 2020 in Culture, Current News, Regulations
While our attention has been gripped by the US Presidential Election, the world is still going forward. With that here are couple biggest stories in Poland which may have missed your attention during coverage of the race for the White House.
1. Since October 22nd, hundreds of thousands across Poland have been protesting—in over five hundred cities and towns! The term for the protests is “Women’s Strike” (Strajk Kobiet), although it’s not just women participating, and it’s not exactly a strike. The loud demonstrations (demonstracje) were sparked by a decision in the nation’s Constitutional Court in Warsaw, that would have further narrowed access to abortion in Poland. You can almost call it a Revolution…
Abortion (przerwanie ciąży, aborcja) is allowed in Poland only if the pregnancy (ciąża) is the result of rape (gwałt) or incest (kazirodztwo), if the woman’s life is in danger, or if the fetus is affected by severe congenital defects. The recent court decision, on October 22nd, eliminated the last of these three conditions from the list.
As a result of the nationwide protests, government indefinitely delayed the publication of the court’s ruling, which prevents it from going into legal force. Government officials are saying that the leaders are taking time to debate the contested ruling and find a solution. There is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation that is difficult and stirs high emotions. It is definitely one of the loudest and biggest demonstrations Poland has seen in long time.
2. As for the second important news from Poland, let’s talk about the next wave of coronavirus that is happening.
Unfortunately it seems like the second wave is way more alarming than the first one…Poland is suffering from a shortage of doctors, nursing staff and ICU beds. Field hospitals are being built to accommodate patients during the pandemic. The country’s health care system is reaching its limits.
So what should you expect in Poland right now?
- Although there is currently no legally enforced lockdown, people are strongly advised to stay indoors, except for essential shopping
- Public restaurants, cafes, and bars are now closed and can only offer takeaway service. Your hotel restaurant and bar should be allowed to remain open (most likely for hotel guests only). Check before you travel
- All museums, art galleries, cinemas and theatres are closed (they were operating on 25% capacity until recently)
- It is mandatory to cover your nose and mouth in all public spaces. There are fines for not doing so
- Groups and public gatherings are limited to 5 people
- Pools, gyms, and waterparks are closed
- Sporting events can no longer have a live audience
- Public transport can only carry 30% of its usual capacity and only 50% of seats are available
- children under 16 are not allowed outside without an accompanying adult
- People over 70 years old are allowed out only to shop and carry out professional activities
How about traveling?
Poland published a revised banned flight list of countries on September 29. The United States remains on the banned flight list but all EU / EEA countries have been removed.
The list of banned countries: Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Brazil, Bahrain, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, UAE, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Colombia, Costa Rica, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Maldives, Moldova, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Cape Verde, United States of America, Oman, and the Bahamas.
There are eligible travelers who are automatically granted free travel (mainly Polish citizens, foreigners who are spouses or children of citizens of the Republic of Poland or remain under the constant care of citizens of the Republic of Poland, diplomats, students receiving education in the Republic of Poland and others). Please check out this website for more details.
The Polish government is imposing a minimum of 10-day quarantine/self-isolation for certain types of travelers:
- People entering the Republic of Poland through borders serving as the EU’s external borders,
- People that have come into contact with infected (or potentially infected) individuals,
- People living with individuals placed under quarantine.
I think this covers both topics pretty well. Unfortunately there are little changes that happen daily…I tried to give you a good description of these news, but of course I might have missed some details.
Lets’ hope that all the craziness will slowly start disappearing. Until then, we all have to be careful, mindful and respectful.
Have a great day everyone!
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