Things are moving quickly with the emergence of the Omicron variant and sudden travel restrictions are possible. Poland continues to see increases in new COVID cases, with levels approaching those of the previous wave. Regardless, tourists are still visiting Kraków with few restrictions. This regularly-updated guide includes details on current travel restrictions, flights, outbreak information, and tips for a safe journey.
Last update: November 29, 2021 (this page is updated every Monday)
- New travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant are likely to be announced this week. Check the Polish government Coronavirus recommendations page for the latest information
- Fully-vaccinated travellers from the UK to Poland must now self-isolate on return and take a PCR test on their second day back. They may leave self-isolation once they receive a negative test result. Non-vaccinated travellers still need to take a test before they return and on days 2 and 8 after they arrive home. Check the UK government website for the latest information
- The number of new COVID cases in Poland continues to rise and rates are now almost as high as the previous wave but Kraków’s big Christmas market is now open. See our new article on Christmas in Kraków for more information
- Tourist attractions and services in Kraków are open with some limits on admission numbers. Masks and social distancing are still mandatory, unless you can produce a certificate of exemption
- See our Flights To Kraków page for information on which airlines are currently available. 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
- Auschwitz-Birkenau is open with limited 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
- See How To Get To Kraków for details of ways to reach the country
Sections On This Page
- Rules For Travelling To Poland From Different Countries
- Current Restrictions Within Kraków
- Travel Restrictions And Visas
- Flights To Poland
- Accommodation And Social Hygiene in Poland
- Poland Coronavirus Information
- Tips For Safe Travel In Poland
Rules For Travelling To Poland From Different Countries
The surest way to ensure smooth travel from any permitted country is to carry proof of full vaccination. In most cases, this ensures you will be allowed into Poland and back home again without quarantine and minimal testing.
Please Note: All passengers who arrive in Poland from another country by plane are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before travel.
From Another Schengen Zone Country
The European Union introduced the Digital COVID Certificate on July 1, which allows travellers to easily share their current status with a QR code. You can travel to Poland from another country in the Schengen Area without a 10-day quarantine provided the certificate demonstrates whether you have:
- been vaccinated against COVID-19 (vaccine type and manufacturer, number of doses, date of vaccination),
- received a recent negative test result, PCR or rapid antigen, with the name of the test, date and time of test, test centre and result (self-tests are not valid),
- or have recently recovered from COVID-19.
Please Note: Travellers are only recognised as fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose has been administered.
Children under 12 years old are exempt from the testing or quarantine requirements.
If you do not have an EU digital certificate, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days, unless you can prove that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine that has been authorised in the European Union, OR have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days, OR can provide a negative result to a PCR or antigenic COVID-19 test within the 48 hours prior to arrival.
It is now possible for Schengen travellers to be released from quarantine if they receive a negative PCR result within 48 hours of arriving in Poland. See the official government guidelines for advice.
You will also need to check the rules for returning to your home country, which can be easily done via the Re-open EU site. Scroll down the page and choose Travel Plan. This allows you to add your country of departure and Poland as the destination. Click Go and you will be redirected to the latest information. You can also choose to display the page in other languages.
Kraków is currently very popular with travellers from Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Denmark. The same Schengen Zone rules in the previous section apply for Scandinavians entering Poland.
These are conditions for returning to each Scandinavian country after visiting Kraków:
- Swedish citizens or residents will not need to show a proof of vaccination, negative test, or recovery when they return home. Returning travellers who have not been fully vaccinated are advised to get tested once they have arrived back in Sweden.
- Denmark considers Poland a safe ‘green’ country, so returning citizens or residents will not need a test or to self-isolate when they come back home, provided they are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative, or have recovered from a recent COVID infection. Danes have their own version of the EU digital certificate, known as the Danish corona passport app, to help manage the whole process. See Denmark’s Corona COVID-19 site for full details.
- Norway has now officially moved Poland from a ‘green’ country to a high-risk ‘red’, which requires unvaccinated travellers to quarantine for ten days, which can be ended if you receive a negative result from a PCR test after three days. Check with your intended airline before booking.
- Finland has discontinued its internal border controls within the Schengen area, and merely recommends returning citizens or residents are fully vaccinated before travel. See the border control page for full details.
- Icelandic citizens and residents are still being advised to avoid unnecessary travel. All travellers need to present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test at boarding and upon arrival, that is no older than 72 hours at boarding, regardless of their vaccination status. Those who are not fully vaccinated (or with a confirmed previous infection) need to undergo two COVID-19 tests (PCR test) with a 5 day quarantine in between tests. See the COVID overseas travel advice for more details.
From The UK
You can travel to and from Poland without quarantine provided you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. This is possible via the NHS COVID Pass which demonstrates current status via a QR code.
However, the UK government still requires that fully-vaccinated travellers book and pay for a PCR test before you return, to be taken on day two after you arrive back. You are now also required to self-isolate until you receive a negative test result, even if you are fully-vaccinated. Prices range considerably, depending on the firm and conditions of the test. You could take the swab yourself at home and post, for example, or you may prefer to have the swab administered by somebody else on site. But tests are available for less than £20.
You must also complete a Passenger Locator form.
Full details, including information on costs of tests, can be found on the UK government website.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still be required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Poland (see official guidance) and complete the following:
- Take a COVID test in Poland, less than three days before you return to the UK
- Complete a Passenger Locator form less than 48 hours before you return
- Book and pay for two COVID tests, to be taken on day two and day eight after you return to the UK. Prices range considerably but both tests can be had for less than £40 in total, depending on the firm and type of test taken
- Complete a Passenger Locator form less than 48 hours before you return
- Quarantine at home for 10 days or take a private COVID test on day five after you return, through the Test to Release scheme (in addition to the other two COVID tests)
Also, check the latest information if you are travelling from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland for specific guidance:
Countries Outside The Schengen Zone
There is currently no air travel ban to Poland and travellers from outside the Schengen Area can enter without quarantine or the need to take a test provided they can demonstrate they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days or can prove they have recovered from COVID in the previous six months. See ReOpen Europe for details.
US CDC vaccination cards are being accepted as sufficient evidence on arrival at Polish airports.
If you are not vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Poland, with the option of an early release test on day 8. See the official guidelines for more information.
All travellers must also complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival.
Travel may also be restricted by the current rules of the country you are travelling from.
Current Restrictions Within Kraków
Poland retains the following public health measures:
- It remains mandatory to cover your nose and mouth with a surgical mask in most indoor spaces, such as in shops, theatres, and public transport, unless you can provide a certification of exemption
- Social distancing of 1.5m remains in place until further notice
- Restaurants and bars have a 75% capacity with maximum possible distance between individual tables
- Hotels also have a 75% capacity, although this limit only applies to non-vaccinated people
- Night clubs have a maximum admission of 150 people, although this also only applies to non-vaccinated people
- Museums, art galleries, theatres, and cinemas are all open, with limitations on numbers and different sanitary precautions for indoor and outdoor events
- Shops and malls still have strict limits on numbers of customer allowed per square meter
- Public transport is now back to 100% capacity
- Sports facilities are now open again with limits on capacity. Live audiences are allowed with reduced capacity. Health resorts are open, subject to a negative COVID test result
- See the government regulations for the most up-to-date information
Travel Restrictions And Visas
There are currently no flight bans into Poland and all land borders are open again. See our Flights To Kraków page for the latest information on available routes and check with airlines for clarification.
Despite the official government website stating that international train travel into Poland is currently suspended, the Kraków Główny timetable includes trains to and from Vienna and it is possible to book tickets from Berlin to Warsaw, via Deutsche Bahn.
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.
Poland Travel Restrictions And Visa Pages
- Polish government official Coronavirus information and recommendations
- Re-open EU
- Schengen Visa Information
Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Flights To Poland
Although international flights are now permitted to Poland, some services may still be 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. See our new Flights To Kraków page for more details.
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.
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.
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
The rate of new daily cases of COVID has been speeding up since mid-July and, at time of writing, is just over 23,000 new cases per day, on a 7-day moving average, which is almost as high as the peak of previous wave. The number of deaths per day rose to 317, on a 7-day moving average.
The vaccination programme has administered just over 41.5 million doses, which translates to 110 doses per 100 people. The population of Poland is just over 38 million people.
- Here is the official Polish government’s Coronavirus infection report. Note that Kraków is in the Małopolska district
- 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 a mild 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
- 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