Cancellation of the state of epidemic - return of old legal regulations


On the 2nd of May 2023, a draft regulation of the Minister of Health on the cancellation of the state of epidemic emergency in the territory of the Republic of Poland was posted on the website of the Government Legislation Centre. According to the draft regulation, from the 1st of July 2023 the state of epidemic threat in the territory of the Republic of Poland connected with SARS-CoV-2 virus infections will be cancelled.

The state of epidemic threat has been in force in Poland since the 16th of May 2022. It was introduced in exchange for the previous more restrictive state of epidemic. This was due to the need to introduce certain reliefs in connection with the decrease in the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases, but at the same time the need to leave opportunities to take quick action in the event of an epidemic threat.

Considering the current epidemiological situation, in particular the decrease in the number of diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections, as well as the decrease in the number of deaths and hospitalizations observed recently, the Minister of Health decided to cancel this state from the 1st of July 2023.

According to the draft regulation on canceling the state of epidemic emergency:

  1. The state of epidemic emergency in connection with SARS-CoV-2 virus infections is being revoked in the territory of the Republic of Poland;
  2. The Regulation of the Minister of Health from 12th of May 2022 on declaring an epidemic emergency in the territory of the Republic of Poland expires.

The regulation mentioned above contains only two paragraphs, but the effects they will cause will be far-reaching and multifaceted. It should be recalled that during the pandemic, many special regulations were introduced to improve functioning during this difficult time. It was primarily the Act on special solutions related to the prevention, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and crisis situations caused by them (hereinafter: "Covid Act"), but also solutions introduced by means of executive regulations to this Act.

Special solutions concerned many areas of life, e.g. extended the validity of various permits, certificates and tests. They introduced numerous subsidies and discounts. They limited direct contacts by making it possible to conduct meetings, assemblies or hearings by means of remote communication. In addition, the Covid regulations introduced many changes in the field of labor law, public procurement and corporate issues.

The cancellation of the state of epidemic emergency has been lifted due to what we have already become accustomed to.

Below are examples of significant changes:

• Abolition of the obligation to cover with a mask, mouth and nose in the standard in which medical activity is carried out;

Labor law: changes in the scope of employees, the use of health and safety employees, assistance in holiday leaves, as well as remuneration for severance payments, compensation or other benefits;

• Financial law: changes in the deadlines for submitting financial statements;

Public procurement law: no possibility to change the contract of connection of the parties with the reasons in the covid law;

Persons with disabilities: changes regarding the extension of disability or disability certificates and parking cards;

Foreigners: changes regarding the extension of permits for a period of time, residence cards, as well as other permits and certificates.

Changes from the pandemic period that will stay with us permanently:

• Remote work - has been regulated in the Labor Code, the new regulations have been in force since  7th oh April 2023;

• Possibility to conduct shareholders' meetings and general meetings remotely - the amendments to the Code of Commercial Companies took place in March 2020. Currently, in order for remote participation in the meeting to be impossible, this must be expressly provided for in the articles of association;

• Remote hearings – work is currently underway on an amendment to allow for permanent conduct of court sittings in civil proceedings remotely.


According to the government, the cancellation of the state of epidemic threat will contribute to the improvement of the economy and will have a positive impact on the activities of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. However, it should be emphasized that the return to the pre-pandemic legal status will not take place immediately. As can be seen from the above-mentioned examples of changes that will take place after the state of epidemic threat is lifted, some of the special regulations contain transitional provisions that will remain in force for a certain period of time after the state of epidemic threat is lifted.

However, one may doubt whether the transitional periods proposed by the legislator are sufficient? At first glance, it seems that the transition periods provided for by the legislator are sufficient to make an appointment with a specialist or to apply for additional permits. However, it should be noted that the regulations suspending certain obligations lasted for several dozen months, and the entitled persons willingly used the new solutions. In view of the above, meeting the deadline indicated by the legislator may prove difficult from a practical point of view.

In addition, it is worth noting the examples of legal regulations permanently introduced into the legal order. This is primarily remote work, but also other solutions that enable participation in various activities using means of remote communication. The above shows that the pandemic somehow accelerated the introduction of regulations regarding the remote mode, which in practice had already been used before, although on a much smaller scale than at present.

Contact us if you need professional legal advice.

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Kinga Cekiera
Kinga Cekiera
Managing Partner in PKF Brevells Cekiera
+48 501 074 669
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