Poland has been relatively successful in containing the coronavirus. The country began easing its lockdown at the end of May and is keen to welcome visitors back. This regularly-updated guide includes details on current travel restrictions, flights, outbreak information, and tips for a safe journey.
Last update: September 21, 2020 (this page is updated every Monday)
- Although Poland appears to be several weeks into a second wave, infection rates look stable and tourists report good weather and great conditions for a less crowded visit to Kraków
- The Polish government has stated it will not introduce a second lockdown or close borders
- On August 8, the Polish government introduced localised restrictions, based on severity. These include wearing of masks in all public places, a ban on larger gatherings of people, and the closure of some public attractions. Kraków remains a ‘yellow-risk’ area
- The number of new daily cases in Poland rose after lockdown was eased and reached a record peak of 1002 last week. The infection rate appears stable at time of writing but we still advise at-risk travellers to stay away for now. Check this page every Monday for the latest information
- Most transport into Poland by road, rail, and sea from other EU countries is now back to normal. See How To Get To Kraków for full details of how to travel by land
- The situation with flights is currently quite volatile and subject to change every fortnight. For example, Spain was added to the flight ban from August 25 and France has just been confirmed, but you can now fly into Poland from China and Russia. The United States remains on the banned flight list. See below for full list of banned countries
- 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
- All air passengers must complete a locator form before travel – see the Flights to Poland section below
- Visitors entering Poland should expect a temperature check at the border
- Auschwitz-Birkenau is open and less crowded than usual. Some musuems have reduced access to more cramped displays. See our Things To Do In Kraków guide and two-, three-, and four-day itineraries for alternative suggestions
Travel Restrictions and Visas
Poland is part of what is known as the Schengen Zone, roughly made up of countries in the European Union, and which allows largely borderless freedom of movement within the region. This means you can now enter Poland from most countries within the Schengen Zone, including the UK. Check with airlines for clarification.
Poland has a revised banned flight list of 30 countries, to be revised on September 29. France has been added to the list, and both Spain and the United States remain.
The full list of banned countries is: Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Brazil, Bahrain, Spain, Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Argentina, Chile, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Colombia, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Maldives, Moldova, Namibia , Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Cape Verde, the United States of America, Bolivia and the Bahamas.
This guide to the Schengen area has full details of which nationalities need a visa for Poland.
The flight list is due to be updated again September 29.
Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Poland Travel Restrictions and Visa Pages
Flights to Poland
Although international flights are now permitted to Poland from countries listed in the previous section, many services have still not fully resumed. Budget airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet are running a timetable between key European cities and international services are expected to increase as more countries relax restrictions.
We are getting reports that many planes are flying at about third capacity, with plenty of space between passengers. But there are also flights with full capacity and very little social distancing.
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 receive guidance on this from your airline.
Queen Boutique Hotel – image © Jason Weaver
Accommodation and Social Hygiene in Poland
Poland is keen to welcome tourists back and hotels were allowed to reopen from early June.
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 2m distance. Tables and other public areas must be disinfected after use, with signs to display this has been done.
We are hearing of hotels doing an excellent job with managing hotel restaurants, with alloted time slots of breakfasts and careful management to minimise the amount of movement around dining areas.
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
So far, Poland’s containment the virus has been relatively successful, but there has been a steady uptick since lockdown was eased. Although there appears to be a second wave, the number of new cases now appears to have stabilised.
As of early August, Poland had roughly 1,352 confirmed cases per million people, compared to over 2,577 in Germany, more than 4,563 in the UK, and almost 15,100 in the US. The highest Polish infection rates have been in the Katowice / Silesia and the Warsaw / Masovia provinces. Kraków is in the Lesser Poland province, which currently has the third highest infection rate in the country.
The Polish government started to introduce local restrictions on certain areas from August 8. These rules are updated daily, based on where new cases are highest. At time of writing, three areas in the Lesser Poland area were affected but not Kraków.
Here is a useful page for the latest coronavirus numbers in Poland. Click EN on the top left for an English version. The daily number of new cases is in the top row, after the + sign. Note that Kraków is in the Małopolska district:
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 a moderate 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. Whilst you no longer have to wear a mask outdoors, there’s strong medical evidence that it’s safer for everyone if you do. 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