TRAVEL DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS – KNOW YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS IN POLAND
March 18, 2020
The Polish Government Act of 2nd March 2020 for the prevention, counteracting and combating of COVID-19 and related crisis situations introduced the principle that the operator of an airport or railway station, air, rail or road carriers are NOT liable for damages caused as the result of the legitimate actions of public authorities to prevent COVID-19, in particular for the lack or denial of transportation capacity.
In practice, this means that anyone whose air, rail, or even road connections have been cancelled or delayed as a result of actions of the authorities is not entitled to claim compensation for this action from the operator of airport/railway station or the carrier. Unfortunately, damages related to travel cancellations or delays will affect many people during this pandemic. Each case must be assessed on an individual basis to determine the actual cause of the damages suffered and determining why compensation was excluded.
In addition, all persons travelling to Poland from abroad are obliged to undergo a quarantine lasting 14 days. After crossing the border the traveller must provide the Border Guard officer with the address of their place of residence or stay (where the quarantine will take place) and a contact telephone number. The Border Guard will make this information available to the State Sanitary Inspectorate. Professional drivers performing road transport are not obliged to undergo the quarantine.
Moreover, while Polish citizens are admitted to Poland, foreigners shall be admitted only in certain cases – for example, family members of Polish citizens, diplomats, holders of work or residence permits, professional drivers performing transport of goods etc. In justified cases, a foreigner may obtain an entry permit from the Commander of the Border Guard at the entry point.
This is obviously a complex and fast changing situation. While the health and safety of everyone remains the priority, you should also be aware of your legal rights.
If you are a foreign national presently in Poland, or a foreign national wishing to enter Poland for legitimate reasons, or a Polish citizen who has experienced travel-related problems that have imposed serious harm or damages, please contact us.