Poland to scrap plane passenger limits from July

Domestic flights were resumed on June 1. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland will lift passenger limits from July 1 on both regular and charter flights, Deputy PM and Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz has announced.

A relevant government ordinance now awaits the presidential signature, Emilewicz said.

The deputy prime minister said that charter flights running on 50 percent capacity were unprofitable for tourist companies. "Had we left these restrictions intact, Poles would not be able to fly freely to the countries that have already opened their borders," she said.

The change is good news both for outbound and inbound tourist traffic, according to Emilewicz. "We're waiting for foreign tourists, they form an important part of the Polish economy." She recalled that in the previous year the contribution of tourism to Poland's GDP increased to 6.9 percent. However, this year the figure is expected to be lower due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Passengers will have to follow a strict sanitary regime recommended by the government sanitary service GIS, including the wearing of face masks at all times.

GIS head Jarosław Pinkas said that decisions on flight destinations will be made on the basis of current epidemiological data.

On Wednesday, Poland reinstated inbound and outbound passenger air traffic after a three-month break due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Airlines and airports have introduced new guidelines to ensure the safe transport of passengers. However, flights from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Sweden and Portugal will be prohibited until June 30.

Domestic flights were resumed on June 1.

Currently, only 50 percent of passenger seats can be occupied on a plane.