A lot of European countries are currently going back into lockdown as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold across the world. Unlike England, Germany or France, Poland has not yet decided to enter its second nationwide lockdown, but the country’s government continues to impose strict measures in response to record-high numbers of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks (on 5 November, Poland reported 27,143 new cases in 24 hours). So far, a great number of businesses and venues in Poland have been ordered to close for a few weeks, including bars and restaurants, swimming pools and gyms, museums and galleries, cinemas, theatres, and non-essential shops in shopping centres. Schools and universities have shifted to online classes and employers have been urged to allow employees work from home wherever possible.
Under a new regulation introduced in Poland earlier this week, all public servants are to work from home full-time until at least December, unless their job (e.g. as a registration officer) requires that they come to the office. What does it mean for Polish residents? Customers and applicants have been strongly encouraged to use online or phone services instead of in-person visits to offices and have been reminded that they may set up a free account with the ePUAP platform (Electronic Platform of Public Administration Services) to create Profil Zaufany (Certified Profile) which allows for electronic filing of documents to municipal or government offices. Foreigners in Poland can also register with the platform, although they may find it difficult to use as the website is not yet available in English.
The Polish Office for Foreigners in Warsaw remains open to serve customers by appointment. To make an appointment, foreigners are asked to contact the office by email or telephone. For contact details, please visit the office’s website.
The Polish government has announced that if the current trend of rising COVID-19 cases continues, the whole country will go into "national quarantine".