Consequences of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Example of Quarantine and Isolation in the Polish Legal System
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic caused the need to apply specific legal structures relating to the separation of healthy and sick persons in order to prevent the spread of the virus, which has an extremely strong impact on Polish society, as well as on other European societies, which shows that these regulations are worth analysing. Design/Methodology/Approach: The publication uses research methods characteristic of the social sciences, including the dogmatic method focusing on the analysis of the legal text and the analytical method relating to the results of analyses and scientific research. Findings: The Polish legislator is looking for the right balance between the effective use of the separation of persons who have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to counteract the spread of the virus and the severe social and economic consequences relating primarily to the mental health problems of persons in separation. In this case, social problems emerge, including family problems (including, in extreme cases, the intensification of domestic violence), as well as problems affecting entrepreneurs who are struggling with lower labour productivity in those industries where remote work has so far been unheard of (e.g. public services) and paralysis of the work system due to sickness of employees and sanitary restrictions. Practical Implications: The analysis showed that frequent changes to the rules of quarantine and isolation, as well as the introduction of non-legal terms such as "self-isolation", result in confusion and feelings of insecurity for both employees and employers. The ineffective health monitoring system of the persons in separation also causes a significant social problem related to the prolonged isolation of persons who qualify for return to normal activity in the community. Originality/Value: The study presents an original approach to the problem of quarantine and isolation, not only in terms of legislative changes introduced during the pandemic and their consequences for Polish society, but indicates also problems of a universal nature, occurring in all separated persons, regardless of the legal system that regulates the principles of this isolation.