Coronavirus travel chaos continues as popular airline Ryanair announces it is cancelling flights to and from Poland after Wizz Air did the same. The European country has reported 84 cases of coronavirus so far and two deaths. However, Poland is taking extreme measures to curb the spread of coronavirus and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against “all but essential travel” to the country.
The budget carrier has said it is contacting travellers whose flights are affected.
Ryanair customers are encouraged not to phone the airline with queries.
The airline said in a statement today: “In response to the decision of the Polish Government to “lock down” the entire country to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Ryanair Group (including Buzz and Lauda) has been forced to cancel all flights to/from Poland, from 24:00 Sat 14 Mar until 24:00 Tues 31 Mar.
“We are contacting all affected customers by email to advise them of their options and we urge customers not to call us.
“This is a fast-moving and complex situation and the safety and well-being of our people and customers is our main priority.
“We will continue to comply fully with all WHO and EASA guidelines and we will follow any travel restrictions that are imposed.
“Ryanair Group Airlines apologise sincerely to all customers affected by these Government Restrictions in order to combat the Covid-19 virus.”]
Wizz Air has also cancelled flights. It said in a statement today: “Wizz Air announced today that as of 15 March 2020 it has suspended all its flights to and from Poland, due to the travel restrictions imposed on all foreign flights announced by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.”
The airline continued: “If the customer booked directly on wizzair.com or via the airline’s mobile app, they will automatically be informed of flight suspensions via e-mail and 120% of the original fare will automatically be uploaded to the customer’s WIZZ account, which can be used in the next 24 months for the purchase of Wizz Air products and services.
“Passengers can also opt for a cash refund – which will take longer to complete – and will be informed about the necessary steps for a bank transfer or transfer to a bank card in a separate e-mail. In this case, customers will be eligible for only 100% of the original fare. Passengers who made their bookings via travel agencies – including online travel agencies – should get in touch with the company from which they purchased their tickets.
“Wizz Air sincerely apologises for the disruptions the travel ban may bring to customers and assures that safety and well-being of its passengers and crew remains the airline’s top priority.”
The FCO updated its travel advice to Poland today in light of the country’s new measures.
It states: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to Poland, due to travel restrictions implemented by the Polish Government related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“From midnight on Saturday 14 March it will not be possible for most British nationals to enter Poland owing to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions imposed by the Polish Government.
“The Polish Prime Minister declared on 13 March that all borders will be shut and border control introduced from midnight local time on Saturday 14 March for 10 days.
“He also announced that International rail and air transport will be suspended from the same time on Saturday 14 March for 14 days. These measures may be extended.
“It will not be possible for non-Polish nationals to enter Poland unless they are:
– Spouses and children or individuals under the permanent care of Polish nationals; or
– Holders of a Pole’s Card; or
– Individuals with the right to permanent or temporary stay in Poland or people with a work permit; or
– Foreign nationals driving a means of transport used for transporting goods.”
The FCO issued advice to those Britons in Poland at this time.
They said: “We recommend that British travellers who wish to leave by air or rail make arrangements to travel before midnight local time Saturday 14 March.
“Foreign nationals will be able to exit Poland by coach, car or bus at designated land border crossings, though the situation could change at short notice.
“Several countries neighbouring Poland have imposed restrictions on people crossing borders, including from Poland.
“Please check FCO travel advice for neighbouring countries before travelling.”
Published at Sat, 14 Mar 2020 15:47:00 +0000