Key restrictions related to the COVID19 pandemic

pandemic restrictions
Piotr Kłodziński|
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Key legal restrictions related to the COVID 19 pandemic

Prohibitions and restrictions in social life

1. Obligation to cover the mouth and nose
Pursuant to § 25 section 1 of the regulation until On December 27, 2020, it is obligatory to cover, with clothing or parts thereof, a mask, mask, visor or helmet in:
– in public transport – including: in buses, trams, subways, minibuses
as well as in public places, including:
– on streets, in cemeteries, promenades, boulevards, vehicle parking areas, forest parking lots,
– in common properties, e.g. in the stairwell
– in workplaces, if there is more than 1 person in the room
– in public buildings, e.g. schools, churches, courts
– in commercial or service facilities, commercial or service establishments and at marketplaces (stalls);

-> The obligation to cover the mouth and nose does not apply to private cars and, among others, to: a child up to 5 years of age; a person who cannot cover their mouth or nose for medical reasons (in the event of an inspection, a doctor's certificate must be presented); public transport drivers or a married couple.

It is unclear whether a person performing religious worship should cover his or her mouth and nose. The regulation contains internal contradictions. § 25 section 1 point 3 of the regulation until December 27, 2020 imposes an obligation to cover the mouth and nose during religious worship, including religious activities or ceremonies, in a public building intended for religious worship and at a cemetery. In turn, § 25 section 3 point 7 of the regulation exempts persons performing religious worship from this obligation during its exercise.

2. Social distancing
Pursuant to § 24 section 1 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020 When moving in public spaces, you should keep a distance of no less than 1.5 m from each other.
The obligation to maintain distance does not apply to persons:
• caring for a child up to 13 years of age,
• caring for a person with a disability certificate, a person with a disability certificate, a person with a certificate confirming the need for special education or a person who cannot move independently due to their health condition,
• people living or farming together, as well as people who are obliged to cover their mouth and nose.

3. Restrictions on organizing gatherings and family events
(including rules for organizing Christmas Eve and other family events during Christmas 2020)

Pursuant to §26 of the regulation, until On December 27, 2020, only gatherings of a maximum of 6 people are allowed (exclusion - gatherings organized on the basis of a notification). People participating in gatherings must cover their nose and mouth and keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people. Moreover, the distance between gatherings cannot be less than 100 m.
Until December 27, 2020, all other events, meetings and gatherings, regardless of their type, are prohibited. However, the following are permitted:
– business and professional meetings or gatherings
– events and meetings (including Christmas Eve) for up to 5 people, which take place in the premises or building indicated as the address of the place of residence or stay of the person organizing the event or meeting
Importantly: the limit of people does not include the person organizing the event or the people living or managing it together.

Therefore, you can invite a maximum of 5 people who do not live with us to Christmas Eve.

What restrictions will apply on New Year's Eve 2020? How many people will be able to spend New Year's Eve 2020/2021? This is not known at the moment. We are waiting for the publication of information on this subject, only guesses remain. All we know is that the lobbying of the inhabitants of Podhale to loosen the restrictions for the New Year's Eve party is very strong.

4. Public transport
Pursuant to § 24 section 1 point 2 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, means of public transport and motor vehicles designed to transport more than 9 people, including the driver, at the same time may transport no more people than 50% of the number of seats or 30% of the number of all sitting and standing places, while leaving the interior transport or in a vehicle with at least 50% seats unoccupied.
Restrictions on the number of passengers do not apply to means of special transport intended for the transport of disabled persons.
5. Air transport
Until December 27, 2020, no passenger will board the plane:
• whose body temperature is equal to or exceeds 38°C
• who did not submit a health declaration during check-in according to the template provided by the air carrier
• who does not comply with the obligation to cover his mouth and nose with a mask

6. Shops

Until December 27, 2020, persons staying:
• commercial activities are restricted in facilities with a commercial or service area exceeding 2,000 m2.
• in other commercial establishments subject to the Sunday trading ban
• at gas stations
• at marketplaces
– in addition to covering their mouths, they are obliged to wear gloves or disinfect their hands.

The requirement to wear gloves or hand disinfection does not apply to persons who cannot put on or take off gloves due to health conditions, pervasive developmental disorders, mental disorders, moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability, or a person who has difficulty putting on or taking off gloves on their own. Proof of an appropriate judgment or certificate in this regard is not required.
Until December 27, 2020, there is a limit on people in commercial establishments, markets or post offices. No more than:
• 1 person per 10 m2 - in the case of facilities and establishments with an area intended for sale or provision of services not exceeding 100 m2
• 1 person per 15 m2 - in the case of facilities and outlets with an area intended for sale or provision of services larger than 100 m2.

7. Hours for seniors
Pursuant to § 12 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, commercial or service facilities whose main activities include, among others: selling food, toiletries, cleaning products, medicinal products, providing postal services - from Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. only serves people over 60 years of age.
Exception: hours for seniors do not apply on December 24, 2020
Hours for seniors do not apply in the following cases: when the medicinal product, medical device or food for particular nutritional uses is issued in a situation where life or health is at risk; wholesale trade; commercial establishments operating in schools or educational institutions (i.e. the error that originally caused school shops to be closed has been fixed)

8. Obligation for minors to stay at home
Pursuant to § 9 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, minors up to 16 years of age, from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., may only move under the supervision of a person exercising parental authority, a legal guardian or another adult.
An exception to the ban is movement to get to a school or educational institution or to return from it to the place of residence.

9. Remote teaching and holidays
Remote learning in schools is extended until January 3, 2020.
Sports classes in sports schools as well as practical classes in vocational schools can be held on-site.
Kindergartens remain open.
All voivodeships have holidays planned at the same time - from January 4 to January 17, 2020.

10. Activities of offices
Until December 27, 2020, in accordance with § 22 of the regulation, offices will remain working remotely.
However, offices may handle certain types of matters (essential tasks) stationary if the head of the office consents. Such tasks may include matters including:
• civil status registration
• population records and identity cards
• social assistance
• provision of municipal services
• activities of labor offices, including support for entrepreneurs in connection with the epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus infections
• issuing driving licenses, registration certificates and other communication documents

The permissible number of customers staying in one room at the same time cannot exceed 1 person per service station, excluding persons performing customer service tasks.
Courts and prosecutor's offices operate unchanged - in stationary form.

11. Church activities
In buildings and other facilities of religious worship there may be (apart from persons performing religious worship or persons performing burial, or persons employed by a company or funeral home in the case of a funeral), while maintaining a distance of not less than 1.5 m:
• no more than 1 person per 15 m2 of area
Participants in religious events are obliged to cover their mouth and nose.

12. Travel
Pursuant to § 2 section 1. of the Regulation, until December 27, 2020, the movement of passengers in rail transport crossing the border of the Republic of Poland with countries outside the European Union is suspended. This means that all railway connections with Ukraine, Belarus or Russia have been suspended.

13. Sanatoriums and rehabilitation
Pursuant to § 13 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, the following shall cease:
1. providing spa treatment services,
2. providing health care services in the field of medical rehabilitation, including rehabilitation within the framework of:
• rehabilitation stay,
• therapeutic and preventive stays in medical entities supervised by the Minister of National Defense
• therapeutic and preventive stays in medical entities established by the minister responsible for internal affairs, where stationary and 24-hour health care services in the field of spa treatment or spa rehabilitation are provided
• readaptation and fitness stays

The exception are cases in which cessation of rehabilitation threatens a serious deterioration of the patient's health - in order to benefit from the service, a negative COVID-19 test result must be presented.

Prohibitions and restrictions on running a business

1. Discos, gyms, solariums
Pursuant to § 10 section 1 of the regulation until On December 27, 2020, a driving ban was introduced:
1. discos and nightclubs or activities that consist in providing a place for dancing organized indoors or in other closed places, excluding sports dance clubs;
2. swimming pools, aqua parks, gyms, clubs and fitness centers, excluding swimming pools, gyms, clubs and fitness centers, except for:
a) operating in entities performing medical activities intended for patients,
b) intended for people practicing sports as part of sports competitions, sports activities or sporting events, as well as students and pupils - as part of classes at a university or school; (so in practice most gyms are open again)
3. service activities related to improving physical condition (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.04.Z) - i.e., among others: service activities of Turkish baths, saunas and steam baths, solariums, slimming salons, massage salons that aim to improve well-being.

2. The catering industry
Pursuant to § 6 section 9 of the regulation until As of December 27, 2020, running a business in the catering industry (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 56.10.A and subclass 56.30) is allowed only in the case of takeaway or delivery orders.
Pursuant to the regulation, customers are prohibited from eating meals in the premises.

3. Hotel industry
Pursuant to § 10 section 2 of the regulation 1 of the regulation until December 27, 2020, the provision of hotel services in the sense of short-term, generally available rental of houses, apartments, rooms, beds, as well as places to set up tents or car trailers is permitted only for:
• using these services as part of a business trip
• who are players using these services during training camps and sports competitions
• people practicing medical professions
• patients and their caregivers, if the need to provide them with accommodation results from the conditions specified for a given healthcare provision
In order to use hotel services, you must present an appropriate document confirming the purpose of your stay - a certificate from the employer, the Polish sports association or an entity providing medical services.
Pursuant to the regulation, discos, saunas, baths, solariums and massage parlors that do not offer therapeutic massages will remain closed in hotels (in practice, the latter will remain open).
Pursuant to § 10 section 5 of the regulation, from catering services offered by entities providing hotel services, including: guests can use hotel restaurants only if meals and drinks are delivered to their hotel rooms.

4. Hairdressing, beauty and tattoo parlors industry

Conducting activities related to hairdressing and other beauty treatments (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.02.Z) and related to the activities of tattoo and piercing salons (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.09.Z) is allowed provided that it is ensured that in the place , where this activity is conducted, only staff and serviced clients were present, and if the client requires care, also his/her guardian, and:
• in the place where this activity is carried out, there may be no more than 1 person per 1 service station, with the exception of service staff
• service stations must be at a distance of at least 1.5 m from each other, unless there is a partition between these stations that is at least 1 m high, counted from the surface of the service station, or whose upper edge ends at least 2 m from the floor surface .

 5. Sports, entertainment and recreation industry

Pursuant to § 10 section 15 of the regulation, conducting activities related to sports, entertainment and recreation (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in section 93.0) - including: sports halls - is permitted provided that it is limited to no more than 150 participants and without the participation of the audience.

Pursuant to § 10 section 19 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, entertainment and recreational activities are prohibited - e.g. related to running escape rooms, scare houses or amusement parks.

The ban does not apply to the operation of ski slopes and the rental of recreational equipment constituting an integral part of the recreational facility.

6. Culture

Until December 27, 2020, it is prohibited to conduct any creative activity related to any collective forms of culture and entertainment, as well as activities related to the screening of films or video recordings in cinemas, outdoors or other places, as well as the activities of film clubs. It is permissible to implement:

• activities necessary to prepare artistic events – e.g. rehearsals
and exercises

• phonographic and audiovisual recordings;

• events transmitted via direct media
distance communication.",

– without audience participation.

Until December 27, 2020, places such as cinema, theater, museum, art gallery, cultural center and opera will remain closed. Unfortunately, you cannot borrow books from libraries in stationary form.

7.Congress and trade fair industry

Pursuant to § 6 section 15 of the regulation, driving is prohibited until December 27, 2020
activities related to the organization, promotion or management of events, such as fairs, exhibitions, congresses, conferences, traditional meetings.

The regulation allows the organization of this type of events only online.

Compliance of the restrictions introduced during the pandemic with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland

It should be noted that the legal nature of the restrictions introduced under the regulation, as well as the restrictions introduced in the past under other implementing acts, raises great doubts in the legal community.

Pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of April 2, 1997 (Journal of Laws No. 78, item 483, as amended) - hereinafter referred to as: the Constitution, restrictions on the exercise of constitutional freedoms and rights may be established only by statute and only when they are necessary in a democratic state for its security or
public order, or for the protection of the environment, public health or morals, or the freedoms and rights of other persons. Moreover, these restrictions must not violate the essence of freedoms and rights. From the principle of limitation of constitutional freedoms and rights expressed in Art. 33 of the Constitution is directly related to the one expressed in Art. 22 of the Constitution, the principle of limiting the freedom of economic activity due to important public interest only on the basis of an act. The Constitutional Tribunal also expressed the view in the judgment with reference number Kp 1/09 that the legislator cannot delegate important matters related to the restriction of freedom of economic activity to be regulated by regulation.

The Constitution therefore introduces the principle of exclusivity of the law when limiting constitutional rights. According to this principle, all significant issues related to the limitation of rights should be resolved by statute. (see P. Tuleja [in:] P. Czarny, M. Florczak-Wątor, B. Naleziński, P. Radziewicz, P. Tuleja, Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Comment, Warsaw 2019, art. 31.)

 The Commissioner for Human Rights in a statement published on his website on On March 27, 2020, he referred to the restrictions introduced at the beginning of the pandemic: including: a ban on movement, mandatory quarantine - including quarantine for those returning to the country - as well as limiting religious practices by specifying the maximum number of believers in temples.

The Ombudsman pointed out that the authorities, without a statutory basis, limited three important freedoms of citizens: freedom (Article 30 of the Constitution), freedom of movement within the territory of the Republic of Poland (Article 52 of the Constitution) and freedom of conscience and religion (Article 53 of the Constitution). Restrictions in this respect were introduced under the regulations of the Minister of Health, while pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution, the formal condition for the admissibility of limiting the freedoms and rights of humans and citizens is that they are written down in an act. The Commissioner for Human Rights emphasized that the regulation should contain only technical provisions that are not of fundamental importance from the point of view of individual rights and freedoms.   

On On June 4, 2020, in correspondence addressed to the Prime Minister, the Ombudsman provided an analysis of the law introduced in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic. The Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that although most of the prohibitions, orders and restrictions introduced were substantively justified, the legal form of their introduction - by way of a regulation, instead of by way of an act pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution - violated citizens' rights during the epidemic.

The Ombudsman also emphasized that a significant part of the penalties imposed by the Sanitary Inspectorate for non-compliance with the restrictions introduced by regulations is therefore imposed in violation of fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms. The Ombudsman showed that the Council of Ministers consciously decided not to introduce a state of natural disaster, which is why those in power cannot invoke extraordinary circumstances and use them to justify far-reaching restrictions on civil liberties introduced by regulations.

Although in this case all restrictions seem completely justified in the context of the fact that in the most difficult days people died in ambulances waiting several hours to be admitted to hospital, the fact is that the lege artis of all
this should have been done "slightly" differently. 
However, we recommend that, to paraphrase the well-known saying, "don't freeze your ears to spite your mother" - it's about our health and life. 

Law basics:

Due to the current epidemiological situation, pursuant to the regulation of the Minister of Health of March 20, 2020 on the announcement of a state of epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Poland (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2020, item 491, as amended) in the territory of Poland from March 20 2020, a state of epidemic was introduced until further notice. The legal act regulating the prevention of infectious diseases is the Act of December 5, 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1845, as amended) - hereinafter referred to as: uzzz Based on art. 46a and art. 46b points 1-6 and 8-12 of the Act, a regulation of the Council of Ministers of November 26, 2020 was issued on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 2091 - hereinafter: regulation , which introduced a number of restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is another legal act of this type that the government has issued in recent months to restrict

virus transmission.
Current restrictions concern both the social life and economic freedom of Poles.

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Key legal restrictions related to the COVID 19 pandemic

Prohibitions and restrictions in social life

1. Obligation to cover the mouth and nose
Pursuant to § 25 section 1 of the regulation until On December 27, 2020, it is obligatory to cover, with clothing or parts thereof, a mask, mask, visor or helmet in:
– in public transport – including: in buses, trams, subways, minibuses
as well as in public places, including:
– on streets, in cemeteries, promenades, boulevards, vehicle parking areas, forest parking lots,
– in common properties, e.g. in the stairwell
– in workplaces, if there is more than 1 person in the room
– in public buildings, e.g. schools, churches, courts
– in commercial or service facilities, commercial or service establishments and at marketplaces (stalls);

-> The obligation to cover the mouth and nose does not apply to private cars and, among others, to: a child up to 5 years of age; a person who cannot cover their mouth or nose for medical reasons (in the event of an inspection, a doctor's certificate must be presented); public transport drivers or a married couple.

It is unclear whether a person performing religious worship should cover his or her mouth and nose. The regulation contains internal contradictions. § 25 section 1 point 3 of the regulation until December 27, 2020 imposes an obligation to cover the mouth and nose during religious worship, including religious activities or ceremonies, in a public building intended for religious worship and at a cemetery. In turn, § 25 section 3 point 7 of the regulation exempts persons performing religious worship from this obligation during its exercise.

2. Social distancing
Pursuant to § 24 section 1 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020 When moving in public spaces, you should keep a distance of no less than 1.5 m from each other.
The obligation to maintain distance does not apply to persons:
• caring for a child up to 13 years of age,
• caring for a person with a disability certificate, a person with a disability certificate, a person with a certificate confirming the need for special education or a person who cannot move independently due to their health condition,
• people living or farming together, as well as people who are obliged to cover their mouth and nose.

3. Restrictions on organizing gatherings and family events
(including rules for organizing Christmas Eve and other family events during Christmas 2020)

Pursuant to §26 of the regulation, until On December 27, 2020, only gatherings of a maximum of 6 people are allowed (exclusion - gatherings organized on the basis of a notification). People participating in gatherings must cover their nose and mouth and keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people. Moreover, the distance between gatherings cannot be less than 100 m.
Until December 27, 2020, all other events, meetings and gatherings, regardless of their type, are prohibited. However, the following are permitted:
– business and professional meetings or gatherings
– events and meetings (including Christmas Eve) for up to 5 people, which take place in the premises or building indicated as the address of the place of residence or stay of the person organizing the event or meeting
Importantly: the limit of people does not include the person organizing the event or the people living or managing it together.

Therefore, you can invite a maximum of 5 people who do not live with us to Christmas Eve.

What restrictions will apply on New Year's Eve 2020? How many people will be able to spend New Year's Eve 2020/2021? This is not known at the moment. We are waiting for the publication of information on this subject, only guesses remain. All we know is that the lobbying of the inhabitants of Podhale to loosen the restrictions for the New Year's Eve party is very strong.

4. Public transport
Pursuant to § 24 section 1 point 2 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, means of public transport and motor vehicles designed to transport more than 9 people, including the driver, at the same time may transport no more people than 50% of the number of seats or 30% of the number of all sitting and standing places, while leaving the interior transport or in a vehicle with at least 50% seats unoccupied.
Restrictions on the number of passengers do not apply to means of special transport intended for the transport of disabled persons.
5. Air transport
Until December 27, 2020, no passenger will board the plane:
• whose body temperature is equal to or exceeds 38°C
• who did not submit a health declaration during check-in according to the template provided by the air carrier
• who does not comply with the obligation to cover his mouth and nose with a mask

6. Shops

Until December 27, 2020, persons staying:
• commercial activities are restricted in facilities with a commercial or service area exceeding 2,000 m2.
• in other commercial establishments subject to the Sunday trading ban
• at gas stations
• at marketplaces
– in addition to covering their mouths, they are obliged to wear gloves or disinfect their hands.

The requirement to wear gloves or hand disinfection does not apply to persons who cannot put on or take off gloves due to health conditions, pervasive developmental disorders, mental disorders, moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability, or a person who has difficulty putting on or taking off gloves on their own. Proof of an appropriate judgment or certificate in this regard is not required.
Until December 27, 2020, there is a limit on people in commercial establishments, markets or post offices. No more than:
• 1 person per 10 m2 - in the case of facilities and establishments with an area intended for sale or provision of services not exceeding 100 m2
• 1 person per 15 m2 - in the case of facilities and outlets with an area intended for sale or provision of services larger than 100 m2.

7. Hours for seniors
Pursuant to § 12 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, commercial or service facilities whose main activities include, among others: selling food, toiletries, cleaning products, medicinal products, providing postal services - from Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. only serves people over 60 years of age.
Exception: hours for seniors do not apply on December 24, 2020
Hours for seniors do not apply in the following cases: when the medicinal product, medical device or food for particular nutritional uses is issued in a situation where life or health is at risk; wholesale trade; commercial establishments operating in schools or educational institutions (i.e. the error that originally caused school shops to be closed has been fixed)

8. Obligation for minors to stay at home
Pursuant to § 9 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, minors up to 16 years of age, from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., may only move under the supervision of a person exercising parental authority, a legal guardian or another adult.
An exception to the ban is movement to get to a school or educational institution or to return from it to the place of residence.

9. Remote teaching and holidays
Remote learning in schools is extended until January 3, 2020.
Sports classes in sports schools as well as practical classes in vocational schools can be held on-site.
Kindergartens remain open.
All voivodeships have holidays planned at the same time - from January 4 to January 17, 2020.

10. Activities of offices
Until December 27, 2020, in accordance with § 22 of the regulation, offices will remain working remotely.
However, offices may handle certain types of matters (essential tasks) stationary if the head of the office consents. Such tasks may include matters including:
• civil status registration
• population records and identity cards
• social assistance
• provision of municipal services
• activities of labor offices, including support for entrepreneurs in connection with the epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus infections
• issuing driving licenses, registration certificates and other communication documents

The permissible number of customers staying in one room at the same time cannot exceed 1 person per service station, excluding persons performing customer service tasks.
Courts and prosecutor's offices operate unchanged - in stationary form.

11. Church activities
In buildings and other facilities of religious worship there may be (apart from persons performing religious worship or persons performing burial, or persons employed by a company or funeral home in the case of a funeral), while maintaining a distance of not less than 1.5 m:
• no more than 1 person per 15 m2 of area
Participants in religious events are obliged to cover their mouth and nose.

12. Travel
Pursuant to § 2 section 1. of the Regulation, until December 27, 2020, the movement of passengers in rail transport crossing the border of the Republic of Poland with countries outside the European Union is suspended. This means that all railway connections with Ukraine, Belarus or Russia have been suspended.

13. Sanatoriums and rehabilitation
Pursuant to § 13 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, the following shall cease:
1. providing spa treatment services,
2. providing health care services in the field of medical rehabilitation, including rehabilitation within the framework of:
• rehabilitation stay,
• therapeutic and preventive stays in medical entities supervised by the Minister of National Defense
• therapeutic and preventive stays in medical entities established by the minister responsible for internal affairs, where stationary and 24-hour health care services in the field of spa treatment or spa rehabilitation are provided
• readaptation and fitness stays

The exception are cases in which cessation of rehabilitation threatens a serious deterioration of the patient's health - in order to benefit from the service, a negative COVID-19 test result must be presented.

Prohibitions and restrictions on running a business

1. Discos, gyms, solariums
Pursuant to § 10 section 1 of the regulation until On December 27, 2020, a driving ban was introduced:
1. discos and nightclubs or activities that consist in providing a place for dancing organized indoors or in other closed places, excluding sports dance clubs;
2. swimming pools, aqua parks, gyms, clubs and fitness centers, excluding swimming pools, gyms, clubs and fitness centers, except for:
a) operating in entities performing medical activities intended for patients,
b) intended for people practicing sports as part of sports competitions, sports activities or sporting events, as well as students and pupils - as part of classes at a university or school; (so in practice most gyms are open again)
3. service activities related to improving physical condition (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.04.Z) - i.e., among others: service activities of Turkish baths, saunas and steam baths, solariums, slimming salons, massage salons that aim to improve well-being.

2. The catering industry
Pursuant to § 6 section 9 of the regulation until As of December 27, 2020, running a business in the catering industry (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 56.10.A and subclass 56.30) is allowed only in the case of takeaway or delivery orders.
Pursuant to the regulation, customers are prohibited from eating meals in the premises.

3. Hotel industry
Pursuant to § 10 section 2 of the regulation 1 of the regulation until December 27, 2020, the provision of hotel services in the sense of short-term, generally available rental of houses, apartments, rooms, beds, as well as places to set up tents or car trailers is permitted only for:
• using these services as part of a business trip
• who are players using these services during training camps and sports competitions
• people practicing medical professions
• patients and their caregivers, if the need to provide them with accommodation results from the conditions specified for a given healthcare provision
In order to use hotel services, you must present an appropriate document confirming the purpose of your stay - a certificate from the employer, the Polish sports association or an entity providing medical services.
Pursuant to the regulation, discos, saunas, baths, solariums and massage parlors that do not offer therapeutic massages will remain closed in hotels (in practice, the latter will remain open).
Pursuant to § 10 section 5 of the regulation, from catering services offered by entities providing hotel services, including: guests can use hotel restaurants only if meals and drinks are delivered to their hotel rooms.

4. Hairdressing, beauty and tattoo parlors industry

Conducting activities related to hairdressing and other beauty treatments (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.02.Z) and related to the activities of tattoo and piercing salons (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in subclass 96.09.Z) is allowed provided that it is ensured that in the place , where this activity is conducted, only staff and serviced clients were present, and if the client requires care, also his/her guardian, and:
• in the place where this activity is carried out, there may be no more than 1 person per 1 service station, with the exception of service staff
• service stations must be at a distance of at least 1.5 m from each other, unless there is a partition between these stations that is at least 1 m high, counted from the surface of the service station, or whose upper edge ends at least 2 m from the floor surface .

 5. Sports, entertainment and recreation industry

Pursuant to § 10 section 15 of the regulation, conducting activities related to sports, entertainment and recreation (included in the Polish Classification of Activities in section 93.0) - including: sports halls - is permitted provided that it is limited to no more than 150 participants and without the participation of the audience.

Pursuant to § 10 section 19 of the regulation, until December 27, 2020, entertainment and recreational activities are prohibited - e.g. related to running escape rooms, scare houses or amusement parks.

The ban does not apply to the operation of ski slopes and the rental of recreational equipment constituting an integral part of the recreational facility.

6. Culture

Until December 27, 2020, it is prohibited to conduct any creative activity related to any collective forms of culture and entertainment, as well as activities related to the screening of films or video recordings in cinemas, outdoors or other places, as well as the activities of film clubs. It is permissible to implement:

• activities necessary to prepare artistic events – e.g. rehearsals
and exercises

• phonographic and audiovisual recordings;

• events transmitted via direct media
distance communication.",

– without audience participation.

Until December 27, 2020, places such as cinema, theater, museum, art gallery, cultural center and opera will remain closed. Unfortunately, you cannot borrow books from libraries in stationary form.

7.Congress and trade fair industry

Pursuant to § 6 section 15 of the regulation, driving is prohibited until December 27, 2020
activities related to the organization, promotion or management of events, such as fairs, exhibitions, congresses, conferences, traditional meetings.

The regulation allows the organization of this type of events only online.

Compliance of the restrictions introduced during the pandemic with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland

It should be noted that the legal nature of the restrictions introduced under the regulation, as well as the restrictions introduced in the past under other implementing acts, raises great doubts in the legal community.

Pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of April 2, 1997 (Journal of Laws No. 78, item 483, as amended) - hereinafter referred to as: the Constitution, restrictions on the exercise of constitutional freedoms and rights may be established only by statute and only when they are necessary in a democratic state for its security or
public order, or for the protection of the environment, public health or morals, or the freedoms and rights of other persons. Moreover, these restrictions must not violate the essence of freedoms and rights. From the principle of limitation of constitutional freedoms and rights expressed in Art. 33 of the Constitution is directly related to the one expressed in Art. 22 of the Constitution, the principle of limiting the freedom of economic activity due to important public interest only on the basis of an act. The Constitutional Tribunal also expressed the view in the judgment with reference number Kp 1/09 that the legislator cannot delegate important matters related to the restriction of freedom of economic activity to be regulated by regulation.

The Constitution therefore introduces the principle of exclusivity of the law when limiting constitutional rights. According to this principle, all significant issues related to the limitation of rights should be resolved by statute. (see P. Tuleja [in:] P. Czarny, M. Florczak-Wątor, B. Naleziński, P. Radziewicz, P. Tuleja, Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Comment, Warsaw 2019, art. 31.)

 The Commissioner for Human Rights in a statement published on his website on On March 27, 2020, he referred to the restrictions introduced at the beginning of the pandemic: including: a ban on movement, mandatory quarantine - including quarantine for those returning to the country - as well as limiting religious practices by specifying the maximum number of believers in temples.

The Ombudsman pointed out that the authorities, without a statutory basis, limited three important freedoms of citizens: freedom (Article 30 of the Constitution), freedom of movement within the territory of the Republic of Poland (Article 52 of the Constitution) and freedom of conscience and religion (Article 53 of the Constitution). Restrictions in this respect were introduced under the regulations of the Minister of Health, while pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution, the formal condition for the admissibility of limiting the freedoms and rights of humans and citizens is that they are written down in an act. The Commissioner for Human Rights emphasized that the regulation should contain only technical provisions that are not of fundamental importance from the point of view of individual rights and freedoms.   

On On June 4, 2020, in correspondence addressed to the Prime Minister, the Ombudsman provided an analysis of the law introduced in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic. The Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that although most of the prohibitions, orders and restrictions introduced were substantively justified, the legal form of their introduction - by way of a regulation, instead of by way of an act pursuant to Art. 31 section 3 of the Constitution - violated citizens' rights during the epidemic.

The Ombudsman also emphasized that a significant part of the penalties imposed by the Sanitary Inspectorate for non-compliance with the restrictions introduced by regulations is therefore imposed in violation of fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms. The Ombudsman showed that the Council of Ministers consciously decided not to introduce a state of natural disaster, which is why those in power cannot invoke extraordinary circumstances and use them to justify far-reaching restrictions on civil liberties introduced by regulations.

Although in this case all restrictions seem completely justified in the context of the fact that in the most difficult days people died in ambulances waiting several hours to be admitted to hospital, the fact is that the lege artis of all
this should have been done "slightly" differently. 
However, we recommend that, to paraphrase the well-known saying, "don't freeze your ears to spite your mother" - it's about our health and life. 

Law basics:

Due to the current epidemiological situation, pursuant to the regulation of the Minister of Health of March 20, 2020 on the announcement of a state of epidemic in the territory of the Republic of Poland (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2020, item 491, as amended) in the territory of Poland from March 20 2020, a state of epidemic was introduced until further notice. The legal act regulating the prevention of infectious diseases is the Act of December 5, 2008 on preventing and combating infections and infectious diseases in humans (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1845, as amended) - hereinafter referred to as: uzzz Based on art. 46a and art. 46b points 1-6 and 8-12 of the Act, a regulation of the Council of Ministers of November 26, 2020 was issued on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of an epidemic (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 2091 - hereinafter: regulation , which introduced a number of restrictions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is another legal act of this type that the government has issued in recent months to restrict

virus transmission.
Current restrictions concern both the social life and economic freedom of Poles.

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