Beyond the health and social implications of COVID-19, the virus presents a range of business risks including closures, cancellations, supply chain breakdown and shortages of people and materials. How to deal with the rapidly evolving business risks associated with the virus is at the top of the agenda in every country, including Poland.
On 24 March 2020, Poland followed neighbouring Germany and announced banning of public gatherings of more than two people and also restricting freedom of movement of people in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus. People are now only allowed to leave the house to go to work, to buy essentials or for medical reasons. The two-person limit on public gatherings does not apply to families. Religious gatherings such as mass and funerals will be limited to five people—priest and gravediggers not included—against the previous 50.
The new measures will apply until 11 April 2020.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Poland would launch a PLN 212 bn (Eur 47 bn) package of measures protecting businesses and employees against the adverse economic effects of the spreading coronavirus epidemic. The anti-crisis package would be divided into five equal parts and its estimated value is to be approx. Eur 47 bn. The legislation is going to be adopted during the special session of Sejm on 27 March 2020.
Despite the fact that the free movement of people in Europe is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the EU (together with goods, services and capital and a cornerstone of the single market), on 14 March 2020 Polish government was forced to close its borders to foreign visitors and made it mandatory for anyone returning from abroad to go into quarantine. Those with a residence permit in Poland or having a work permit as well as foreigners driving a vehicle intended for transporting goods will be allowed to enter. Freight transport should not be affected. Poland also closed all museums, swimming pools, schools, movie theatres and bars. Restaurants have only been able to provide takeaway service.
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