The COVID-19 Act will be amended!
Unfortunately, the epidemic situation in Poland has not improved, as evidenced by the constantly drastically growing number of people infected with the coronavirus. The pace of the epidemic development in the country forces the ruling party to introduce further restrictions, which are slowly heading towards an economic lockdown, and thus - to a significant deterioration in the financial situation of thousands of people. The first wave of redundancies and the closing of further economic activities took place in the March-May period. At that time, the COVID-19 law came into force, aimed at reducing the negative effects of freezing the economy. Now, when the second, intensified wave of the epidemic has come, will those most affected be able to count on state aid? What solutions does the government propose to support the Polish economy? On the night of October 26-27, the senate adopted an amendment to the law in connection with counteracting crises related to the outbreak of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Act - proposed changes
In addition to adopting the amendment to the anycovid law along with the amendments, the Sejm also referred for consideration a draft law lifting the ban on Sunday trading during the epidemic.
Lifting ban on Sunday trading
One of the most exciting proposals for changes in the law in force is the option of lifting the Sunday trading ban for the period of the announced state of the epidemic and for the period up to 90 days following the lifting of the epidemic.
The main argument supporting the rightness of the discussed solution is the distribution of traffic intensity in shops. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki commented on the Senate's proposal. He stated unequivocally that the government is not considering lifting the Sunday trade ban at the moment. The prime minister's statement has not been developed or provided with any additional commentary.
Subsidies for medics' salaries, but only in a specific case
The Senate also supported the parliamentary proposals relating to the allocation of salary supplements to medics, but only to those directed to fight the epidemic by voivodes. The act also provides for the release of medics from criminal liability for mistakes made in certain circumstances. The new solutions also assume that during the epidemic, the insured employed in the health service for the time spent on:
- compulsory quarantine,
- insulation or
- insulation in domestic conditions,
resulting from being in contact with people suffering from COVID-19, would be entitled to 100% remuneration for the period of incapacity for work. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!
Penalties for not wearing a face mask
Some of us have already encountered fines for not wearing masks in public spaces. The police are trying to enforce the obligation of citizens to cover their nose and mouth in certain places. The amendment to the act extends the provisions currently in force and provides, inter alia, the possibility of refusing customer service and selling products to him in the event that he does not comply with current sanitary regulations.
Quarantine without a written sanitary decision
The Senate also focused on PiS's proposal to abolish the obligation to issue a written decision to impose a quarantine on a given citizen. It was adopted and is included in the amendment to the act.
Unfortunately, at the moment there are no details related to the proposed solutions in the context of the already existing communication chaos between the employer and the Department of Health and Safety.
State budget amendment
Amendments to the budget act for 2020 are also planned, according to which the budget deficit will be raised from the planned PLN 0 to PLN 109.3 billion. Unfortunately, the current market situation has contributed to a change in assumptions in the context of planned budget revenues, which will fall by PLN 36.7 billion. A decline will also be recorded in terms of tax income, which will drop by as much as PLN 40.3 billion. According to the amendment to the act, GDP will decline by 4.6 percentage points as compared to the initially assumed growth of 3.7 percentage points.
The COVID-19 Act, along with its amendments, has now been forwarded to the Sejm.