US State Department requires Americans fleeing Ukraine to show proof of vaccination to enter Poland despite Poland not requiring proof of vaccination for travelers

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The U.S. State Department announced Saturday that Americans fleeing Ukraine may enter Poland, but U.S. citizens must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19. This appears to be a U.S. State Department requirement since Poland does not require vaccinations against COVID-19 to enter the country.

“The security situation in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable due to the increased threats of Russian military action and can deteriorate with little notice,” the announcement reads. “U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”

“Poland has indicated to the U.S. government that U.S. citizens may now enter Poland through the land border with Ukraine,” the State Department bulletin notes.

According to the State Department, “U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport and proof of COVID-19 vaccination” in order to gain entry into Poland.

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“Travelers are also encouraged to present a negative test result from a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test,” the notice states.


However, Poland doesn’t require U.S. citizens to be vaccinated to enter the country.

The official website of the U.S. embassy in Poland restrictions for Americans traveling to Poland:

Starting December 15, every person arriving in Poland from outside the Schengen area has to present a negative test result from a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test to enter the country. Children who are under 5 years of age are exempt from the testing requirement. There must be no more than 24 hours between obtaining the test result and crossing the border into Poland. Vaccination does not exempt an individual from the obligation to test. These regulations will be in place until February 28, 2022.

The official government website for the Republic of Poland:

Until February 28, 2022, travelers crossing the Polish border as an external EU border are required to present to a Border Guard officer a negative diagnostic test result for SARS-CoV-2, in Polish or in English, performed within 24 hours before crossing the border and counting from the time the test result was generated (the test can be performed either in the country where the person begins his/her journey, at the airport in Poland before the border check or within 3 hours after crossing the border). Any person who fails to present a negative test result to a Border Guard officer will be required to undergo a compulsory quarantine. In the event that a test is performed after crossing the border, the procedure for releasing a traveler from quarantine rests solely with the health inspection authorities, and as such, the traveler does not have to return to the border control area.

The Polish Border Guard (Straż Graniczna) COVID-19 restrictions for travelers:

In accordance with the regulations of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of May 6, 2021 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and bans in connection with the outbreak of an epidemic by February 28, 2022 – every person crossing the border of the Republic of Poland, constituting the external border (as a rule) is obliged to present a negative result of the diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 (in Polish or English) to a Border Guard officer (in Polish or English) performed, mainly before crossing the border, within 24 hours, counting from the moment of obtaining this result test.

The New York Times detailed the COVID-19 restrictions for Americans traveling to Poland:

Tourists coming from the United States may enter by air only. They can avoid a mandatory quarantine by presenting a negative test result (either P.C.R. or antigen) administered no more than 24 hours before arrival. The U.S. Embassy notes that on-arrival testing is also available at Warsaw Airport. Children under 5 are exempt from the test requirement. Anyone who fails to present a negative test result must quarantine for 14 days; however, this can be shortened if the traveler obtains a negative result on a P.C.R. test that is administered no sooner than seven days after their arrival.

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