Poland’s third wave of infections appears to be over, the government has continued to ease lockdown measures, and tourists are travelling to Kraków again. This regularly-updated guide includes details on current travel restrictions, flights, outbreak information, and tips for a safe journey.
Last update: June 7, 2021 (this page is updated every Monday)
- The Polish government continues to ease the most recent lockdown rules and some travellers have returned to the city, as you can see in this charming video. There are also reports of travellers with proof of vaccination not having to quarantine once they arrive in Poland
- Social distancing and wearing of masks remain in public spaces
- Hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions have reopened, but night clubs will stay closed until at least June 25
- Poland remains on the UK government’s amber list for foreign travel from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This will require a 10-day quarantine at home and multiple COVID tests. See below for details or visit the UK government website
- The situation with flights remains very much subject to change. You can check available flights, timings and prices for your chosen dates with one search. It’s also easy and affordable to book your own private Krakow airport transfer to your hotel
- International rail services into Poland from other countries remain suspended until at least June 25, but see How To Get To Kraków for full details of other ways to reach the country
- Auschwitz-Birkenau has reopened, with limited visiting times and capacity. See our Things To Do In Kraków guide and two-, three-, and four-day itineraries for suggestions of where to visit, but check ahead to book places and clarify opening rules
Travel to Poland
From Another Schengen Zone Country
You can travel to Poland from another country in the Schengen Area without a 10-day quarantine provided you have a negative result from a PCR or antigen COVID test or have proof of vaccination. You will still be required to quarantine if you travel from Czech Republic or Slovakia, unless you have proof of vaccination. See ReOpen Europe for more details.
Countries Outside The Schengen Zone
You can also currently travel to Poland from Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, or Australia, but will be required to quarantine unless you have proof of vaccination or have recovered from COVID in the previous six months. Quarantine may be shortened by taking a COVID test within Poland after arrival. All travellers are required to fill in Passenger Locator and Public Health Declaration forms before arrival. However, travel may also be restricted by the current rules of the country you are travelling from. Visitors from other non-Schengen countries or the UK may not yet travel to Poland. See ReOpen Europe for more details.
Travel From The UK
Poland remains on the UK’s amber travel list, which means you can travel to Poland from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland provided you:
- Can show a negative result from a PCR or antigen COVID test or have proof of vaccination on arrival in Poland
- Complete a Passenger Locator form and take a COVID test before returning to the UK. The rules for testing are quite specific and carry a fine if followed incorrectly
- Quarantine at home for 10 days after returning to the UK. It may be possible to shorten the quarantine period if you pay for a private ‘Test to Release’ COVID test, which costs roughly £100, depending on provider
- Take two further COVID travel tests on days two and eight after you return to the UK. These must be booked and paid for from the CTM booking portal before you return to the UK and cost £170
- Poland’s travel status and all UK regulations are subject to change at any time. See the official UK guidance for the most up-to-date information
- It is also wise to check the latest information from each country if you are travelling from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland
Current Restrictions In Kraków
Even though the third wave of infections appears to be over, Poland retains the following public health measures:
- On entering Poland from another Schengen Zone country, you are required to quarantine for 10 days unless you have proof of an approved vaccination or a negative COVID test result from the previous 48 hours. If you are entering Poland from outside the Schengen Zone, you are still required to quarantine, unless you have proof of vaccination or take a COVID test within Poland and receive a negative result. See the government regulations for full details
- It remains mandatory to cover your nose and mouth with a surgical mask in most public spaces. There are fines for not doing so. Social distancing of 1.5m remains in place until further notice
- Hotels, restaurants, and bars are now open with 50% capacity
- Night clubs remain closed until at least June 25
- Museums, art galleries, theatres, and cinemas are open, with strict limitations on numbers and different sanitary precautions for indoor and outdoor events
- Shops and malls are now also allowed to reopen with strict limits on numbers of customers
- The numbers allowed on public transport has increased to 75% seating capacity
- Sports facilities are now open again with strict limits on capacity. Live audiences are allowed with reduced capacity. Health resorts are open, subject to a negative COVID test result
Travel Restrictions and Visas
You can enter Poland from any country within the Schengen Zone, or on a flight from Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia and Australia. People may be required to self-isolate for 10 days if arriving by public transport. Check with airlines for clarification.
Flights from other countries are currently not permitted to travel to Poland.
International train travel into Poland is currently not possible.
This guide to the Schengen area has full details of which nationalities need a visa for Poland.
Be sure to clarify your airline’s policy for rebooking and return flights if circumstances change suddenly. Book accommodation that allows for cancellations.
Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Poland Travel Restrictions and Visa Pages
- Polish government official Coronavirus information and recommendations
- Re-open EU
- Schengen Visa Information
Flights to Poland
Although international flights are now permitted to Poland from countries listed in the previous section, many services are still being cancelled, based on events. Budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet are running a timetable between key European cities, although these will fluctuate according to demand and the quarantine policies of individual countries, and services are being reduced in light of record infection levels.
Use a service like Skyscanner to check flights for your chosen dates. See also our comprehensive guide to Kraków Airport and how to get from Kraków Airport to Kraków city centre.
- Important! Everyone is required to fill out a passenger locator form before travel
- You will also need to fill in a Passenger Self-Declaration Form which logs some basic information about your health and activities in relation to possible exposure to COVID-19
- You will receive guidance on these forms from your airline and can usually fill them in online
Queen Boutique Hotel – image © Jason Weaver
Accommodation and Social Hygiene in Poland
Most public buildings provide hand sanitiser and ask customers to apply before entering. There are increased hygiene regulations for all public spaces. Covering nose and mouth with a surgical facemask is mandatory in most places. Just using a scarf or face shield is not permitted.
Polish customer service tends to be excellent, with high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. But new legal requirements have been introduced to help tackle coronavirus, some with heavy fines attached. All establishments must ensure that their staff wear gloves and masks, and that customers maintain at least 1.5m distance. Tables and other public areas must be disinfected after use, with signs to display this has been done.
Although you are temporarily unable to dine in at public restaurants and bars, your hotel should be able to still offer these services and deliver to your room. Check before travelling.
Most public buildings, including hotels and shopping malls, provide hand sanitiser and ask customers to apply before entering. Hotels are subject to strict rules of hygiene. See our recommendations for the best hotels in Krakow for various budget categories and ideas on the best areas of the city in Where To Stay In Krakow.
Poland Coronavirus Information
Poland’s containment of the virus was relatively successful during the first wave, but there was a significant rise in cases since the lockdown was eased at the end of 2020.
The rate of new daily cases of COVID continues to decline and is currently at 455 new cases per day, on a 7-day moving average, compared to almost 29,000 at the peak of the second wave. There are now 59 deaths per day, on a 7-day moving average.
The highest Polish infection rates have been in the Warsaw / Masovia provinces. Kraków is in the Lesser Poland province, which has moved from the third worst hit region of the country to a less critical region.
The vaccination programme is underway and has, so far, administered just over 22 million doses, which translates to 58 doses per 100 people.
Here is a useful page for the latest coronavirus numbers in Poland. Note that Kraków is in the Małopolska district:
- Here is the official Polish government’s Coronavirus infection report – unfortunately there is no English translation at present
- There are graphs to help you visualise the current status of the virus in Poland at the worldometer Poland Coronovirus page
Forum Przestrzenie – image © Jason Weaver
Tips for Safe Travel in Poland
Here are some useful tips to make your trip to Poland a safe one.
- Visitors to Kraków still face the risk of exposure to COVID-19, a highly-contagious virus; so individuals should consult a doctor before considering any travel. Similarly, if you display any symptoms of the virus before you leave or are considered at-risk, don’t travel! See the Travel Health Pro COVID-19 Travel Risk Assessment and the UK government Poland travel advice for comprehensive details
- If you start to feel ill while you’re away, contact the Polish National Health Fund on 800 190 590. Press 6 for English language advice on what steps to take if suspect you might have coronavirus
- You are still required to cover your nose and mouth on public transport and, where practical, in any other shared indoor space. There’s strong medical evidence that it’s safer for everyone if you also wear a mask outdoors. Although masks should be available from pharmacies, supermarkets, and a number of enterprising vendors, we recommending bringing them with you. After all, you’ll need one to travel
- Hand sanitiser is widely available at hotels, shopping malls, bars and restaurants, public transport, and many other public buildings. All the same, make sure you add a bottle to your packing list
- As a traveller, you’ll have less access to soap and running water than you would at home, so wash your hands at every opportunity
- Respect the 2m social distancing rule in any shared space. You may get fined up to £6,000 if you don’t!
- Kraków is a very walkable city, so consider exploring on foot, instead of via bus and tram. See our guide to Getting Around In Kraków for more details
- Google provides a chart of estimated busy times for popular attractions, so search for what you plan to visit and try to go at quieter times of day
- Provided you meet the criteria for travel to Poland, your visit is no longer considered high risk and you can buy travel insurance to cover the trip. However, things are changing very quickly and not all firms will cover costs incurred by COVID-19. Be sure to check with your provider to clarify what’s on offer. Moneysupermarket has an up-to-date guide on questions relating to the coronavirus and travel insurance. The UK government’s advice on travel insurance is useful for all travellers, regardless of nationality