Tourists are returning to Kraków without needing to quarantine, as new cases of COVID in Poland are very low, and travel rules from the UK are due to be relaxed from next month. This regularly-updated guide includes details on current travel restrictions, flights, outbreak information, and tips for a safe journey.
Last update: September 20, 2021 (this page is updated every Monday)
- Tourist attractions and services in Kraków are open. New daily cases of COVID have risen slightly but remain low. Masks and social distancing are still mandatory
- Poland remains on the UK amber list. Fully-vaccinated UK travellers are able to travel to and from Kraków without quarantine. The rules, however, are due to be simplified on October 4. Check the UK government website for the latest information
- The EU now uses the Digital COVID Certificate, a QR code for travellers to instantly demonstrate their current vaccination status, whether they have received a valid negative test result, or if they have recovered from COVID-19
- 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 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
- 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.
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 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)
- 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 exempted 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, 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 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.
Kraków is currently very popular with travellers from Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden and Denmark. The same Schengen Zone rules 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 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. See Denmark’s Corona COVID-19 site for full details.
- Norway also considers Poland a ‘green’ country, so returning citizens or residents do not need to quarantine. However, you will need to have a COVID test less than 24 hours before returning and another test at the airport once you arrive back in Norway unless you are fully vaccinated. See the official guidance for full details.
- Finland designates Poland a ‘low-risk’ country with no restrictions for returning citizens or residents. See the border control page for full details.
- Icelandic citizens and residents will need to provide proof of full vaccination, a negative COVID result from the last 72 hours, or evidence of having recovered from COVID previously. See the official travel restrictions page.
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 you take a COVID test before you return to England and on day two after you arrive back. You will not need to quarantine, provided the result is negative.
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 on return to the UK:
- 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
From October 4
The rules for arrivals back into England will change on October 4, with the traffic light system being simplified. This means if you are travelling back from Poland and have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, you will need to:
- prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body
- book and pay for an approved COVID test – to be taken two days after arrival in England
- complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours before you arrive in England
- take your COVID test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must:
- take a pre-departure COVID test within 3 days before you travel to England
- book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID tests – to be taken after arrival in England
- complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours before you arrive in England
- quarantine at home for 10 days
- take a COVID test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.
- You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
In all cases, check the official government guidance for the most up-to-date information.
The rules can be slightly different if you are travelling from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, so check the latest information:
- Scotland has announced new rules in line with England
- Wales was still to announce changes at time of writing
- Northern Ireland had agreed to the same changes as England at time of writing but the guidance was still to be updated.
Countries Outside The Schengen Zone
You can also currently travel to Poland from Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, Australia, Israel, or the United States, but will be required to quarantine for 10 days unless you have proof of full vaccination. There are reports that US CDC vaccination cards are being accepted as sufficient evidence on arrival at Polish airports. Travellers are only recognised as fully vaccinated 14 days after the second dose has been administered.
All travellers must complete Passenger Locator and Public Health Declaration forms before arrival.
See ReOpen Europe for full details.
Travel may also be restricted by the current rules of the country you are travelling from.
Current Restrictions Within Kraków
Although the third wave of infections appears to be over, Poland retains the following public health measures:
- 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 have increased capacity to 75%
- Night clubs have now reopened with a maximum admission of 150 people
- 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
- Public transport is now back to 100% 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
- Rules were due to be revised at the start of September. See the government regulations for the most up-to-date information
Travel Restrictions And Visas
You can enter Poland from any country within the European Union Schengen Zone, or on a flight from Georgia, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Tunisia, and Australia. Israel and the United States were also added to this list on June 19. Travellers from outside the European Union will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they have evidence of being fully vaccinated or can provide a negative COVID result on arrival. See our Flights To Kraków page for the latest information on available routes and check with airlines for clarification.
Flights from other countries are currently not permitted to travel to Poland.
International train travel into Poland is not currently allowed. Check the official government website for the latest information.
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 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 infection levels. 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. 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.
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 increasing since mid-July and, at time of writing, is at 612 new cases per day, on a 7-day moving average, compared to almost 29,000 at the peak of the second wave, and there were 9 deaths per day, on a 7-day moving average.
The vaccination programme has administered just under 37 million doses, which translates to 98 doses per 100 people. The population of Poland is just over 38 million people.
- Here is the official Polish government’s Coronavirus infection report – unfortunately there is no English translation at present. 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 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 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