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Entry restriction to non-Polish citizens & suspension of international air & rail travel (13.03.2020)
From Sunday, 15 March, Poland will close its borders to foreigners. All Polish citizens who are presently abroad can return to their homeland. A number of exemptions exist for foreign residents. They will also undergo a compulsory 14-day home quarantine. International passenger air flights and international rail travel will be suspended.
Start date: 15.03.2020
End date: 10 days from starting date
Further information: https://www.gov.pl/web/coronavirus/travel
Temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers
Poland has notified a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers involved in international freight and passenger transport. This relaxation is granted pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006.
Start date: 18.03.2020
End date: 16.04.2020
Further information: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/temporary-relaxatio..
Remarks from the International Road Transport Union
As of 00:00 on 13 June, internal borders with other EU countries have been opened; travellers can freely entry, exit and transit through Poland. The lifting also implies the lifting of sanitary controls and quarantine requirements. Controls are maintained on borders with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
Foreign nationals of non-EU countries are still banned from entering Poland, but the following categories are exempted from the provision:
- Polish citizens.
- Foreigners who are spouses or children of Polish citizens, or who remain under their constant care.
- Foreigners holding a Polish Card.
- Heads of diplomatic missions and members of the mission's diplomatic and consular staff, i.e. persons with a diplomatic rank and members of their families.
- Foreigners who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in Poland.
- Foreigners who have the right to work in Poland, i.e. foreigners entitled to work under the same conditions 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 in Poland, or
- present documents showing that the commencement of work will begin immediately after crossing the border.
- Foreigners who carry out transport operations of persons or goods transiting through Poland, provided the transit is part of their professional activity.
- Drivers performing road transport as part of international road transport or international combined transport travelling through Poland by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport in order to (a) take their rest period in the territory of the country of stay or (b) after having taken the rest referred to and after a break in carrying out the work in the circumstances specified in the Act on drivers' working time.
- Pupils and students studying in Poland.
- Citizens and residence permit holders of European Union Member States, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation and their spouses and children, who travel through Poland to reach their place of residence or stay.
Members are reminded that EU goods and passengers drivers are free to carry out transport operations to, through and from Poland.
Polish authorities will restrict the movements of heavy goods vehicles on 10 and 11 June due to security reasons during a big religious event.
The ban will be in force between 18:00 and 22:00 on 10 June and between 08:00 and 22:00 on 11 June (Belarus has a different time zone, therefore the period of validity of the provision will be between 19:00 and 23:00 on 10 June and between 09:00 and 23:00 on 11 June)
The ban will not be applicable to goods vehicles transporting dangerous and perishable goods, foodstuffs and live animals. Neither ban will be applicable to vehicles which, by the time of introduction of restrictions, are already inside the terminals and have completed formalities for entry/exit, as well as to buses operating internationally. The notice can be read here.
Source: Grodno Border Service Command
On 30 May, Poland lifted the transit ban for goods drivers that carried out international transport operations and are passing through the Polish territory with other means of transport in order to reach their place of rest or get back from it. Now, once at the Polish border, those drivers should present an appropriate certificate or a copy of the employment contract, a driving license (or a driving license with code 95), and the driver qualification card or driver’s certificate.
On 12 May, the Polish Government extended controls at borders until 12 June 2020. The full notice can be read here.
On 30 April, the Polish Prime Minister announced a relaxation of the conditions imposed on commuters at border crossing points. From 4 May, Polish citizens working or studying in Germany will no longer have to spend 14 days in quarantine when returning to Poland, and corresponding regulations have been agreed with neighbouring countries.
Polish borders are still closed for foreigners, this applies until 13 May. People with permanent residence permits, truck drivers and diplomats are exempt from the provision.
As from 23 April, drivers operating in Poland are obliged to wear a face mask whilst they are outside of their cabin. In case there are two people in the cabin, both of them have to wear a face mask whilst driving.
The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure relaxed rules on driving and rest times from 17 April to 31 May. Relaxations apply to drivers performing national and international road transport of goods and persons, and are as follows:
- the daily driving time may not exceed 11 hours (derogation of Article 6 (1)),
- the weekly driving time may not exceed 60 hours (derogation of Article 6 (2)),
- the total driving time over the next two weeks may not exceed 96 hours (derogation of Article 6 (3)),
- after a driving period of five and a half hours, the driver is entitled to a continuous break of at least forty-five minutes (derogation of Article 7),
- if a driver makes this choice, he can also use the regular weekly rest period in the vehicle, provided he has adequate sleeping facilities for each driver and the vehicle is stationary (derogation from Article 8 (8)).
Temporary derogations from the application of the provisions apply to drivers performing road haulage. Whereas, drivers performing road passenger transport are subject to the above-mentioned derogations, only in the case of transport carried out in connection with the return of citizens to their countries of residence.
According to the wording of the notification agreed with the European Commission:
- the drivers referred to above must indicate, on the back of the analogue tachograph record sheet or the digital tachograph printout, the derogation cases,
- the use of temporary derogations must not cause deterioration of drivers' working conditions and road safety levels.
In the ordinance dated 24 March 2020, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration has extended the period of border control at the internal border with Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by another 20 days, i.e. until 13 April. The current restrictions on the entry of foreigners into Poland will also be maintained.
Full text of the ordinance can be found here.
On 24 March, Polish Authorities amended the rules on mandatory quarantine: drivers engaged in international road transport operations using vehicles below 3.5 tonnes are not any longer subject to quarantine.
The provision entered into force immediately.
On 13 March, the Prime Minister of Poland announced a “state of emergency”. In addition to measures to limit public gatherings, the government announced that border controls will be temporarily restored from 15 March(00:00) for 10 days (renewable). During this period:
- Foreigners will not be allowed to enter Polish national territory. All air traffic and train movements coming from abroad will be temporarily suspended.
- Polish citizens and foreigners working in Poland that are returning from abroad must undergo a two week quarantine period.
- National bus, air and rail transport will operate normally.
- International road freight transport is not included in these restrictions. Borders remain open to the flow of goods and truck drivers operating international road freight will not have to comply with the two week quarantine period. The list of border crossing points open during this period is available here.
On 19 March, the Polish Minister of Health lifted the previous duty of fulfillment of driver localisation forms. In addition, according to information on the Border Guard website, quarantine is not imposed on:
- people living in Poland who work in a neighbouring country and who regularly cross the border (cross border workers).
- foreigners living in a neighbouring country who work in Poland and cross the border regularly (cross border workers).
- drivers engaged in the professional transport of goods and passengers.
Health checks are still taking place at border crossing points. Drivers with a temperature of above 38 degrees will automatically undergo a medical examination and will not be able to continue driving.
The updated border waiting times can be found here: www.granica.gov.pl.
The Polish Minister of Transport has introduced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for drivers performing international road transport of passengers and goods. This exception applies from 18⁄03⁄2020 to 16⁄04⁄2020, included. The relaxation concerns only international transport and covers EU-registered hauliers only (not applicable to Contracting Parties of the AETR Agreement). Measures lifted are the following:
- Daily vehicle transport time cannot exceed 11 hours.
- The weekly transport time of the vehicle cannot exceed 60 hours.
- The total transport time of the vehicle over a consecutive two week period may not exceed 96 hours.
- After a five and a half hour period of driving, the driver shall be entitled to a continuous break of at least forty-five minutes.
Due to the extended transport time of the vehicle, from 9 to 11 hours, no derogations will be applied on daily and weekly rest periods.
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