Last Updated @ 11:20 (CET) on 30/10/2020
How many cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are there right now in Kraków?Thus far 41,531 cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Kraków and the surrounding voivodeship of Małopolska (ENG: Lesser Poland).
There have been a total of 340,834 people infected in Poland since March 4. There are currently 134,724 active cases. 5,351 people have died from Coronavirus in Poland.
The cities and their surrounding voivodeships with the highest number of cases are Katowice (read more) and the capital Warsaw (read more).
Obviously, given the rapid exponential spread of the virus, the exact number of cases is difficult to calculate and constantly being updated. Check this live updated global map by John Hopkins University or follow the Polish Ministry of Health on Twitter @MZ_GOV_PL.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in WARSAW.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in GDAŃSK.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in WROCŁAW.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in POZNAŃ.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in KATOWICE.
Read the latest on the Coronavirus in ŁÓDŹ.
As of Saturday 24 October, all of Poland is now a RED ZONE!
What does this mean if you're in a red zone?
- Although not prohibited to go outdoors, it is strongly advised to stay indoors (especially senior citizens), going out only for essential shopping.
- Children under 16 years old are only permitted outdoors 08:00-16:00 under adult supervision.
- Covering mouth and nose in public/outdoors is mandatory. Failing this, you can be fined!
- Maintain social distancing of 1.5m.
- Public gatherings of no more than 5 people are permitted.
- Use provided hand sanitiser when entering shops/stores/venues.
- Capacity in public transport will be capped at 30%, with only half the available number of seats permitted for use.
- Gastro points (cafes/restaurants/bars) will now not be able to permit the public, although they remain open, providing only takeaway/delivery.
- Cultural events/institutes and cinemas may operate at maximum 25% capacity.
- Nightclubs activities, both indoors and outdoors, are banned.
- Shops will only be allowed to admit 1 person per till/cash register for shops/stores up to 100m2 - for larger spaces, the rule is 1 person per 15m2.
- Elementary/Primary schools (classes 4-8) will now join High Schools and Universities in compulsory remote/online learning. Elementary/Primary classes 1-3 will continue to go to school.
- Churches will also have attendance limited; 1 person per 7m2.
- Weddings are no longer permitted to go ahead.
- Gyms, cinemas, health resorts and some public recreational spaces are closed.
- Sporting events will go ahead, but will no longer admit a live audience.
Is the spread of COVID-19 in Kraków currently Increasing or Decreasing?When stay-at-home lockdown restrictions were imposed on Polish society in mid-March, the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Poland increased gradually before plateauing at about 300 new cases per day at the end of March. Throughout April and May the rate of the virus' spread was stable at about this rate. Since the easing of restrictions in late May and early June, allowing people to gather and businesses to reopen, and particularly since the start of 'Wakacja' - the July/August holiday time, cases in Poland have been steadily on the rise. With cases beginning to spike in early August, it appears that Poland may be experiencing the start of a ‘second wave.’ New positive cases have been above 750+ daily since mid-August, with a record high of 903 new positive cases on August 21.
Lockdown restrictions in Poland were lifted at the end of May.From March 20, Poland was officially in an EPIDEMIC STATE. In order to contain the spread of Coronavirus, many public institutions and businesses - including schools, universities, restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, museums, cultural attractions - were closed, with many others under restricted operations and open hours. The individual movements of private citizens were restricted, with people expected to remain in their homes unless they have a valid reason to be out.
This is what Kraków looked and sounded like during lockdown!
On May 30th, gastro points, entertainment venues and educational institutes were allowed to reopen under new guidelines for keeping the public ‘safe' (see above regarding yellow/red zones).
New Restrictions Introduced in early AugustOn August 8th, the Ministry of Health enforced new restrictions in specific areas with greater numbers of positive cases. This information is updated daily and based on a colour scheme. In counties designated as RED or YELLOW, individuals will be required to wear masks outside the home at all times, and gatherings will be restricted to no more than 50 people. Some public attractions like cinemas and amusement parks have been forced to close under the new guidelines.
Of 400 counties in Poland, the new restrictions went into effect in 19.
Nowy Sącz (małopolskie)
Ruda Śląska (śląskie)
Biała Podlaska (lubelskie)
Żółty Radziejowski (kujawsko-pomorskie)
Will there be another Pandemic Lockdown in Poland?The Polish government has explicitly stated that there will be no second lockdown in Poland, even if positive case numbers continue to climb. It was also announced in early August that all schools will reopen with on-site lessons in September, as planned. In the August 6th announcement it was also made plain that there are no plans to close borders in Poland or to introduce a quarantine for people returning from abroad.
Earlier updates on Coronavirus in Kraków:
From 10th October - The Whole of Poland is a YELLOW ZONE!What does this mean?
- Covering the mouth and nose in the public outdoors is mandatory. Anyone who does not wear a mask will be obliged to present a medical certificate or other document confirming the person’s disability at the request of the police or municipal guard.
- Gatherings and events: the number of people allowed to participate in the event will be limited to 75.
- Nightclubs activities, both indoors and outdoors, are banned.
- Cinemas may operate at maximum 25% capacity.
- Attendance at weddings and other family gatherings have a maximum attendance of 100.
- The health ministry is now enforcing a distance of at least 100 metres between individual gatherings.
- Despite mandatory mask-wearing in public, you are not required to cover mouth and nose in forests, parks, green areas and botanical gardens.
- Gyms, cinemas, health resorts and some public recreational spaces are closed. Cultural events and fairs are also suspended, while sporting events will no longer be able to admit a live audience.
- Capacity in public transport will be capped at half the available number of seats. Indoor and outdoor premises will only be allowed to admit one person per four square metres of space. Churches will also have attendance limited; however, outdoor religious celebrations can admit up to 150 people.
- Attendance at weddings and other family gatherings have a maximum attendance of 50.
- Meanwhile, in yellow zones, sporting and cultural events can still take place, and cinemas will be able to operate at 25% of their usual capacity.
- Here too, both indoor and outdoor premises will only be allowed to admit one person per four square metres. Other restrictions, for example on wearing masks in shops and church attendance, will remain unchanged.
Is Kraków open for Travel? Are there tourists in Kraków again?Poland's borders with the country's EU neighbours reopened to foreign travellers on June 12. Those entering the country from within the EU will NO longer have to go through a 2-week quarantine period. If you arrive in Poland from a non-EU country, you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days, unless you are transiting to your place of residence. The Schengen Zone is now open to outside travellers however, restrictions remain at the Polish borders with Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. As of 01 July EU borders reopened to citizens from 15 non-EU countries, which are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The list does not include The U.S., Brazil and Russia.
International flights within the EU were permitted to resume on June 16th, however, flights to/from the United Kingdom, Sweden and Portugal were initially banned until 30 June but have now been permitted as of 01 July. National carrier LOT Polish Airlines has resumed domestic and international flights (where possible) and Ryanair has resumed international connections to/from Poland.
High speed Pendolino trains have resumed service within Poland. International PKP Intercity trains with connections within the EU (to Prague, Berlin and Vienna for example) resumed on June 22.
Hotels in Poland have reopened; all cultural institutions, attractions, restaurants, cafes, and bars have also reopened, and city authorities are eager to welcome tourists back to Kraków!
How Are Locals in Kraków Behaving Now?
In early March, when it became clear that Coronavirus was inside Poland and spreading quickly, the government acted relatively swiftly, and in line with the rest of Europe, to close borders, schools, cultural institutions, restaurants, etc, and impose restrictions on individuals gathering in groups. Poles took the stay-at-home orders to heart and treated them seriously for the rest of March, April and most of May.
How did they Behave During the Pandemic Lockdown?
Since restrictions were lifted in late-May, businesses have been reopening and the weather has warmed, Cracovians are back on the streets, gathering with friends and family in the cafes and gardens, parks and boulevards. Although it is no longer required to cover your nose and mouth with a mask (except on public transport and in shops), many citizens are still doing so, as well as practising social distancing. There is a visible differentiation, however, between the seriousness (or lack thereof) with which the pandemic is still being taken by Kraków's teenagers and students, versus essentially the rest of the population.
Museums & Tourist Attractions in Kraków are NOW OPENClosed by the government on March 11th, museums and galleries were allowed to reopen in mid-May, and most cultural institutions in Kraków have now reopened. Certain restrictions are in place regarding the flow and volume of people allowed, in order to ensure public safety. Hand sanitiser is provided outside almost all public places, and it is required that visitors use it before entering. Visit our Museums page for updated information about individual museums in Kraków.
On June 6th, the last wave of closed businesses were allowed to reopen. This included cinemas, theatres, operas and amusement parks. In cinemas and theatres special seating restrictions will ensure social distancing and facial coverings should be worn.
During the lockdown many cultural institutions were prompted to improve their online programmes and offerings. If you're unable to, or uncomfortable visiting Kraków in person, read our feature on VIRTUAL TOURS & ONLINE SIGHTSEEING IN KRAKÓW.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes in Kraków are NOW OPENClosed on March 15th, restaurants, cafes and bars in Kraków have been permitted to reopen, but under certain restrictions on the number of people allowed inside at one time, as well as the proximity of tables in order to maintain safe social distancing practices. Specifically, all gastronomy businesses must:
- ensure that all their staff are wearing gloves and masks
- ensure a safe 2m+ distance between clients
- disinfect tables after every use and announce (via signs) that it has been done
- check all your standard hygiene procedures and make sure they are followed
Many restaurants and local businesses are also playing their part to combat COVID-19 by participating in charitable causes and initiatives; learn about Four Polish Gastro Initiatives Worth Supporting here.
Shops & Shopping Malls in Kraków are NOW OPENShopping Malls were also closed on March 15th, but were reopened on May 4th. Most smaller shops were allowed to remain open with restrictions on the number of guests inside at one time. These restrictions largely remain in place now, and visitors are asked to use hand sanitiser (provided by the businesses) before entering. For older generations of Poles, the sometimes long queues created as a result of limiting the number customers inside shops is surely reminiscent of the situation during the communist era in Poland. (Read our humourous feature on Queueing in Poland.)
For those uncomfortable food shopping during a pandemic, here is a list of Online Grocery Shops around Poland.
Small-Scale Events have resumed in KrakówIn early March authorities banned all public gatherings and ordered people to stay in their homes. At this time many annual festivals, concerts, conferences and other cultural events were postponed or cancelled; others were able to successfully move online. Now restrictions have been lightened and some smaller scale events are moving forward. Outdoor gatherings of up to 150 people are now permitted. For the latest updated info about specific events in Kraków, visit our Events section.
Pandemic Lockdown Restrictions in PolandSince March 20, Poland is officially in an EPIDEMIC STATE. For a week prior to this, the country was in a 'State of Epidemic Threat'. In order to contain the spread of Coronavirus, many public institutions and businesses have been closed (see below), with many others under restricted operations and open hours (see below). Individual movements have been restricted, with people expected to remain in their homes unless they have a reason to be out (see below). The penalty for breaking rules without a valid reason is 30,000zł.
As of Saturday 30 May, it will no longer be required to cover your nose/mouth (with a mask or other) outdoors and indoors, unless the minimum 2m social distancing measure cannot be ensured. It will still be mandatory to wear a mask when using public transport or entering shops. It was required to cover nose/mouth as of 16 April when outside.
All public gatherings, events, and reunions are banned, and places of public recreation, such as parks will be closed.
No gatherings of more than two people are allowed in public, except for family groups (for example: two parents and two children walking together would be allowed), but as of Saturday 30 May, it is possible to gather outdoors in groups again, but with a limit of 150 people. Participants must observe the 2m distancing rule or wear face masks.
THE RESTRICTIONS DO NOT APPLY TO:
|Travel to work. If you are an employee, run your own business or farm, you have the right to get to your job. You also have the right to buy goods and services related to your professional activity.||Volunteering. If you work to fight the coronavirus and help those in need quarantined or who should not leave your home, you can move around as part of this activity.||Dealing with matters necessary for everyday life. You will be able to move around to do the necessary shopping, buy medicines, see a doctor, look after relatives and walk the dog.|
|• Public transport continues to operate. However, only half of the seats can be occupied on a bus, tram or train. Eg. If there are 70 seats in the vehicle, it can have a maximum of 35 people onboard.
• Restrictions on movement also do not apply to people who want to participate in religious events. Here, however, we have introduced another important principle: More than 5 people will not be able to participate in the mass or other religious rite at the same time - excluding those who exercise the ministry. The government recommends participating in religious services online or via radio or TV.
• Restrictions on the number of people do not apply to workplaces. However, they should apply particularly strict recommendations of the Chief Sanitary Inspector in the field of maintaining the distance of employees, disinfectants etc.
INDIVIDUALS IN QUARANTINE
If you have been placed in quarantine, due to suspicion of being infected with Coronavirus, authorities have introduced a new quarantine mobile app, which allows quick contact between the Police and the person in quarantine. The penalty for breaking 'quarantine' is 30,000zł.
CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS
On March 11, the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced the closure of all schools in Poland, beginning on Friday the 13th (Jason masks do not protect you from the spread of Coronavirus) until at least March 25.
The dates for the 8th-grade exams and the Matura exam are being postponed (TBD) likely until June.
Is there a Travel Ban to and from Poland?
On March 13, the Polish Prime Minister declared a 'State of Epidemic Threat' and since midnight on March 14/15, Polish borders have been closed to people entering Poland, with some exceptions (see below). This closure was for a period of 10 days with the possibility of a 20-day extension, however, this has repeatedly been extended. During the Prime Minister's press conference on 13 May, it was announced that the borders will remain closed until 12 June.
On March 13, International flights and trains were suspended. On March 15, domestic flights were also suspended.
On March 17, the European Union shut down all Schengen Area Borders, as an extreme measure to prevent the Coronavirus from further spreading in the borderless area. The European countries have discussed today the idea of introducing a ban on entry to the 26-state Schengen passport-free travel zone, which would cover all non-essential visits from third countries, with some exemptions including for citizens of the Schengen area.
Polish Border Control has officially listed the following exceptions for people entering Poland:
1) Citizens of the Republic of Poland.
2) Foreigners who are spouses or children of the citizens of the Republic of Poland or remain under their constant care.
3) Foreigners holding a Pole's Card (Karta Polaka).
4) Heads of diplomatic missions and members of the mission's diplomatic and consular staff, i.e. persons with a diplomatic rank and members of their families.
5) Foreigners who have the right of permanent or temporary residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
6) Foreigners who have the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland, i.e. foreigners entitled to work under the same conditions as Polish citizens, holding a work permit, seasonal work permit, a declaration of entrusting work to a foreigner on the territory of the Republic of Poland.
7) In particularly justified cases, not included above, the commander of the Border Guard post, after obtaining the consent of the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard, may allow a foreigner to enter the territory of the Republic of Poland in accordance with the procedure specified in the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners (Journal of Laws from 2020 item 35).
8) Foreigners who run a means of transport used to transport goods.
Each person crossing the Polish border will be subject to sanitary control and medical services will measure the individual's temperature. Each person crossing the border is obliged to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, with the following exceptions:
• People living in Poland who work in a neighbouring country and regularly cross the border.
• Foreigners living in a neighbouring country who work in Poland and cross the border regularly.
• Drivers engaged in the professional transport of goods and passengers.
On March 19th it was reported that queues stretching as long as 60km have formed at Poland’s borders with Germany and Czech Republic. Due to cancelled flights, Polish residents are attempting to return home via car. It is reportedly taking entire day to get through the queue.
What else are Polish Authorities doing to control the spread of Coronavirus?
Before the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in Poland, authorities were not doing much aside from propagating the idea that Poland would not be as affected by the virus as other countries. When the outbreak began in China, a subtly patriotic narrative began to circulate regarding the bubonic plague, or 'Black Death,' and how it somehow affected Poland on a much smaller scale than the rest of Europe in the 14th century. [We did our own research. Read our article Did Poland really escape the Black Death?]
Would history now repeat itself 700 years later?
Sadly, no. Since the first case in Poland was officially announced on March 4 (it is speculated that the virus was in PL much earlier), the virus has spread rapidly, but authorities have been acting quickly to counteract it, taking what extreme measures that once seemed unimaginable.
On March 11, the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced the closure of all schools in Poland, beginning on Friday the 13th. In the meantime schools (even preschools!) moved their classes online. Jagiellonian University in Kraków suspended activities on March 11.
Kraków's trams and buses are still running and being disinfected every night, according to MPK, Kraków's public transit authority. Beginning March 25, only half of the available seats on public transport are allowed to be occupied and riders are instructed not to sit next to each other.
The national postal service, Poczta Polska, announced that it has stopped sending and receiving international shipments from 16 March until further notice. Working hours on business days have been reduced to six hours (14:00-20:00) and for three hours on Saturday. Their 24-hour branches have also been reduced - they now operate 7 days a week, 08:00-20:00. Customer service points in Shopping Malls have been closed.
Your best bet for the latest info on public safety is to follow the live information feeds from the City of Kraków online and the Polish Ministry of Health @MZ_GOV_PL on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #koronawiruswpolsce on social media for more updates.
We are diligently keeping this article updated as the situation with the Coronavirus in Kraków evolves. For more updates and interesting content, sign up for the Poland In Your Pocket NEWSLETTER - an easy way for you to support us during this trying time. Thanks!
What should I do if I'm in Kraków & I suspect I might have Coronavirus?
If you are in Poland and suspect that you may have been infected with Coronavirus, please call Centrum Wielokulturowe on 800-190-590 and press '6' to be assisted in English.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include:
• runny nose
• sore throat
• difficulty breathing (severe cases)
To prevent infection, the Polish Ministry of Health advises everyone to:
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
• Keep at least one-metre distance between yourself and others who are coughing and sneezing.