Postcard From Poland

25 August 2021

by Benjamin Marsh

My wife is Polish and we have two young kids, two and five, and it had been two years since we’d seen her family so we thought we should try and get over there for a holiday. Below is a brief snapshot of life in Poland during these most desperate and depressing times. The good news is, Poland appears to be bucking the trend on Covid apocalypse porn.

Getting there was relatively easy. The wife and I are double jabbed – I know some people think we have sold our souls by doing this, but if it means I can take my wife and kids to Poland to see the family, then to me it is a small price to pay.

Once we were there, it appeared Poland was treating Covid with the respect it deserves, which is essentially not much at all. The authorities do require quarantining from the U.K. if unvaccinated. However, this was brought in after the Delta variant got blown out of all proportion by our media. People from all other countries are exempt if they produce a negative test, which you can do at the airport.

Once through the border checks, life is pretty much as normal – there is no ‘new normal’. Masks are ‘required’ at airports, hotels and bigger establishments, but enforcement is sporadic and based on how zealous the person behind the counter is. In all other settings, masks are not worn and, unlike in the U.K., where if you choose not to wear a mask you are looked at with a mixture of disdain, smugness, disgust and pity, the Poles respect your decision and leave it at that.

In all other aspects of life, everything is as before. Everyone is getting on with their lives and enjoying themselves.

Almost 50% of Poles are double jabbed, so they are a little way behind Brits, but nothing is ever really mentioned about the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated or about ‘herd immunity’.

It appears as though Covid is over for pretty much everyone. They are learning to live with it and as far as I can work out from my in-laws, no work from home mandate has ever been issued. They did close schools, bars and restaurants for a bit last summer but then opened them again last September and have never forced them to re-close.

So if you’re looking to have a break from Covid and want a relatively cheap getaway (prices have increased a lot in the two years since we were last there but they are still cheaper than their Euro-loving neighbours) I would definitely recommend Poland.