Is this the end of the fifth wave of the pandemic? Summary of the abolishment of most restrictions and the remaining provisions of the ordinance issued on 25 March 2022.

The first cases of COVID-19 were detected in China on 17 November 2019. This triggered a series of events which had led to the official declaration of the pandemic by WHO on 11 March 2020. More than two years after the outbreak of the pandemic, under  the Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of 25 March 2022 on the establishment of certain restrictions, orders and prohibitions in connection with the occurrence of the state of epidemic (Journal of Laws item 673), Poland lifts many Covid-related restrictions that had been introduced in the country since 10 March 2020.

Below, we are analysing the main regulations of the above mentioned ordinance, in particular those restoring the “old reality”.


Abolishment of the obligatory use of masks

Paragraph 10 of the ordinance in question repeals the ordinance of the Council of Ministers of 25 February 2022, which ordered the covering of mouths and noses with masks in means of public transport, in public areas, during religious worship, in schools and higher education institutions until 31 March 2022. The obligation to wear masks in buildings where medical activities are carried out and in pharmacies will remain valid until 30 April 2022.


Abolishment of the isolation and quarantine obligations due to COVID-19

Under the new regulations, the persons who are in quarantine, isolation or home isolation on the date of entry into force of the Ordinance are required to remain so. On the other hand, persons who test positive for COVID-19 will be on sick leaves in line with the ordinary procedures, or sent to home isolation on the basis of the doctor’s decision.


Who is considered a COVID-19 vaccinated person?

As defined in the ordinance, a person vaccinated against COVID-19 is a person who has received a valid certificate of protective vaccination against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved for marketing in the European Union or included in the list of vaccine equivalents approved for marketing in the Republic of Poland, as maintained by the National Institute of Public Health – the National Research Institute, and at least 14 days have elapsed since the administration of the single-dose vaccine or the second dose of the two-dose vaccine, and in the case of subsequent doses, since the day of administration of that dose.


The issue of the EU digital COVID certificate

The Ordinance specifies two forms of issuing the EU digital COVID certificate:

  • in electronic form – automatically via the ICT system referred to in art. 7 of the Act of 28 April 2011 on the information system in healthcare, or
  • in paper form – at the request of the data subject, from the ICT system referred to in art. 7 of the Act of 28 April 2011 on the information system in healthcare, by:
    1. entities providing preventive vaccination against COVID-19,
    2. a primary health care physician or a primary health care nurse.

Arrival to Poland from outside the Schengen Area. Abolishment of the quarantine obligation after crossing the border.

As of 28 March 2022, under the provisions of the above mentioned Ordinance, all restrictions regarding travelling to the Republic of Poland are lifted, which means that travellers are no longer obliged to:

– present vaccination certificates when crossing the border,

– test for SARS-CoV-2,

– undergo the so-called entry quarantine.


Test orders

Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski also announced that as of 1 April 2022 the testing policy will be changed. Tests will be free only in case of having a doctor’s order.


Is this the end of the pandemic?

The Minister of Health also announced that despite the lifting of the restrictions, the epidemic is not over yet. He urged the citizens to continue to be cautious and responsible. In addition, the Minister expects the pandemic to return in autumn, as this is a time of increased risk, when we return to closed spaces. Therefore, the state of epidemic will be maintained in Poland, and, after some time, it may be changed into the state of epidemic emergency.

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