As of 7th April, passengers crossing the external borders of the Schengen area will be subject to strict border controls. The change, caused by toughened EU regulations, may cause longer waits at border checks. Passengers are advised to take this fact into consideration when planning a trip to the airport.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have toughened the provisions governing the rules for crossing the external borders of the Schengen area as a response to the sustained terrorist threat in Europe. The change in the regulations requires all Member States to conduct thorough checks of each person, both entering and exiting the Schengen area.
So far, the people who benefit from the right to free movement, including the citizens of the Republic of Poland, have been subject to the so-called "minimum checks". However, as from 7th April, each person will undergo a detailed border check. This concerns all external border checkpoints, including airport crossings.
The new regulation concerns passengers travelling to and from non-Schengen countries, i.e. those travelling between Kraków and such cities as: Belfast (BFS), Birmingham (BHX), Bournemouth (BOH), Bristol (BRS), Chicago (ORD), Dublin (DUB), East Midlands (EMA), Edinburgh (EDI), Leeds Bradford (LBA), Liverpool (LPL), London (Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted), Manchester (MAN), Newcastle (NCL), Paphos (PFO), Shannon (SNN), Tel Aviv (TLV).
Although the change may prolong the crossing of the Schengen borders, the Border Guards claim that they have taken measures to ensure efficient and smooth controls. Depending on the size of the border traffic, the guards will employ more officers and new check-in points will be opened.