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In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, we understand that many participants are concerned about safety and security during their upcoming travel to Poland. When traveling to Krakow for World Youth Day 2016, all pilgrims should be incredibly conscious of security and safety issues. The following information provides some resources for pilgrims and their families, group leaders, and parish and diocesan authorities regarding the safety of all World Youth Day pilgrims while in Krakow.
Check out our new Safety Brochure for a quick reference to WYD safety and security.
On April 14, the WYDUSA office hosted a Safety and Security Webinar. On this webinar, we had representatives from the USA Consulate in Krakow, the Youth Protection office in the USCCB, and WYD leaders sharing their experience of general leader awareness and emergency preparedness. If you have any questions about security at World Youth Day, we highly recommend watching this webinar and downloading the PDF used during the presentation.
During this webinar, several resources were mentioned:
-For specific safety and security information, we recommend that you read the information provided on the State Department's Poland Country-Specific Information Sheet.
-Read the most recent Europe travel advisory issued on March 22nd. Please note that this European advisory is set to expire on June 20, and will be amended or updated should the security situation in Europe change prior to World Youth Day in late July.
-In the event that the Consulate has specific information about a security threat to Americans participating in World Youth Day events, they will immediately send that information out to everyone registered with the Consulate and broadcast it on U.S. Mission Poland's social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. We encourage everyone attending World Youth Day to register with the Consulate via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, and to like the Consulate's Facebook page to be aware of the latest information.
-The US Consulate in Krakow has developed a website for World Youth Day Pilgrims. They will be posting the most up-to-date security information for World Youth Day. They have also set up a specific email address for people to use who have specific questions about security at World Youth Day: email@example.com.
Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, spoke about safety concerns for pilgrims traveling to WYD. At the November General Meeting, he said:
In the wake of the recent international terrorist attacks, I want to assure you, our pilgrimage leaders, and the families of our pilgrims that we have taken extra measures to assure the safety and security of all World Youth Day travelers. Our USCCB World Youth Day office is working with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, and the Embassy of Poland in the United States to ensure the protection of those making this international pilgrimage. We will continue to be diligent and proactive in all these matters and we will provide multiple opportunities for leader training in the coming months.
In light of the recent terror attacks and threats, the WYDUSA office has released a Safety Notice for all pilgrims traveling to WYD. This document contains the most up to date information about safety in Krakow.
Check out WYD Krakow for continuous updates on safety in Krakow. The US State Department continuously updates travelers on advisories and provides resources for safety while traveling outside of the country. The US Consulate in Krakow and the US Embassy in Poland also have safety resources for those planning to travel to Poland.
you have any questions or concerns about safety, please feel free to
contact the WYDUSA office by phone, 202-541-3044, or email,
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive the most recent updates about resources concerning pilgrim safety.
Via landline or a public phone:
997: Police Department
998: Fire Department
986: Municipal Wardens (Straż Miejska)
Via mobile phone:
112: All Services (You may also dial this on a landline, if you are unsure of the department you need)
+ 48 601 100 300: Mountain Rescue Service (GOPR)
+ 48 601 100 100: Water Rescue Service (WOPR)
While in Krakow, it is important that you carry a picture ID such as an original passport or a scanned color copy.
Pilgrims should also be sure to keep their Registration Certificate with them for the duration of their trip. This certificate with the ecclesial stamp and signature is important, because it verifies your status as a WYD pilgrim. There is also a possibility that pilgrims could run into difficulties with the Polish authorities for a number of reasons, which is another reason to carry the certificate to verify your identity.
Also, your WYD Registration Certificate and WYD badge (which you will receive upon check-in at WYD) are your ticket to enter WYD events. Please, do not lose or forget to have them with you at all times.
Your credentials, badges, or
certificates may not be transferred—and should not be shared or given away or
lost. Missing credentials create a security risk Lost credentials are not
easily replaced. In case of an
emergency, please proceed (with your group
leader) to a WYD Information Center located
throughout the city. Also in addition to this, remember that all
participants from the United States are reminded to act in a Christian
manner and adhere to the codes of conduct of their local dioceses.
At WYD Krakow, there will be thousands of group leaders, trained volunteers, and staff on hand to ensure safety and security. Also, the local Polish police will be present throughout the downtown area of Krakow.
WYD greeters and security personnel will be at the entrances to all events. Each pilgrim must have valid WYD credentials (i.e. pilgrim badges and registration certificate) for entry. Also, due to the high volume of pilgrims, please plan for additional wait times in your schedule for the lines to enter events.
Backpacks, Bags, and Purses
Traditionally, many pilgrims carry a backpack throughout WYD. As a result, pilgrims and group leaders are encouraged to travel light. If possible, try to carry only those items you will need for that day. Please do not leave your backpack unattended, for any reason.
If emergency evacuation is necessary, please follow the instructions of police, security personnel, WYD volunteers, and/or any of the public announcements.
In the unlikely event of widespread sustained crisis, each
group leader should have a designated a crisis check-in location. Report to
this location, if instructed to do so by security, law enforcement, or event
U.S. State Department - Travel Details for Poland
with links to travel requirements and other valuable info
Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Travel Info for Poland
with details about medical information for Krakow pilgrims
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