On March 20, when the country was officially declared in a state of "epidemic threat", the number of infected people per capita was lower in Poland than in 22 other EU countries: 425 cases in a population of 38 million. From March 25 (1,051 confirmed cases), the government decreed a widespread lockdown.
Closing borders was the second strict measure aimed at containing the epidemic. Poland was one of the first European countries to use this measure, despite initial protests from the European Commission. From March 15, the country closed its borders to foreign nationals, following the example of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, and Cyprus. Only Poles and foreigners with a residence permit would be able to enter Poland, and they would be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Non-compliance with the quarantine - which excludes all contact, even for food shopping - incurs a fine of PLN 30,000 (EUR 6,600) and up to one year in prison. Border closures worked to reduce international mobility and the influx of tourists to cities such as Warsaw, Prague, and Budapest, thereby avoiding clusters of cases. Nevertheless, this measure does not apply to the transport of goods, since implementing health checks for drivers proved to be a logistical nightmare. With the cooperation of the national airline LOT, the Polish government organized the repatriation of Poles stranded abroad. As a result, by the end of March, nearly one hundred thousand people ended up in quarantine.