Poland: A Retailer’s Perspective during COVID-19

On 19 April 2020, the Polish Council of Ministers issued a decree that changes previous restrictions implemented by the Decree of 10 April No. 658 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Poland. This Decree introduces a number of regulations that affect the retail sector.

The Polish government decided to commence a gradual withdrawal from the restrictions. On 20 April, the first stage of lifting the restrictions came into effect. The process will be divided into three more stages. The dates the remaining stages enter into force will be determined on an ongoing basis based on the dynamics of new COVID-19 cases.

Until further notice, retail sales in stores located in commercial centres with sales areas above 2,000 sq. m. are restricted to only stores which predominantly sell food, cosmetic products (excluding beautifying products), toiletries, medicinal products, newspapers, building or renovation materials, items for pets and fuels. Further, sales in stores selling building and renovation materials in such facilities is completely prohibited on weekends.

The Decree limits the number of customers present in a store simultaneously to four persons per one cashier position if the area of the shop is smaller than 100 sq. m., or one person for 15 sq. m. if the area exceeds 100 sq. m. In case of trade at a market stall the number is limited to four persons per one point of sale. This excludes people working in such facilities. Also, between 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., only customers over 65 years old are allowed to shop at retail places or markets.

All retail outlets are obliged to provide either disposable gloves or hand sanitising products to their customers, as well as to disinfect service desks or cash desks after each customer. Customers should only enter stores wearing disposable gloves. From 16 April, covering the mouth and nose in public is mandatory.

Last reviewed: 28 April 2020

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