When will the pandemic end? The latest easing of restrictions

When will the pandemic end? The latest easing of restrictions.

As of March 1, some of the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted in Poland, and the rules regarding quarantine and isolation have been changed. Does this mean that the pandemic is officially over? What might happen in the coming months? Why should we still remember to maintain basic safety rules?

On February 23, the prime minister and the health minister announced the government’s decisions related to loosening anti-epidemic restrictions. Thus, they took the example of other European countries that decided on this step some time ago. What are the current safety rules? Does the lifting of limits and restrictions mean the end of the pandemic and the simultaneous end of quarantine in Poland?

Current safety rules

As of March 1, 2022, new safety rules have been officially introduced. Currently, one should:

  • wear masks indoors (on common property, e.g., in stairwells, on streetcars, buses and trains, in stores, at the post office, in banks, in cinemas and theaters, in churches, in schools and universities during breaks between classes/activities, in public buildings, during direct customer service, in clinics, hospitals, massage parlors, in the workplace – if there is more than one person in the room unless the employer decides otherwise). It is not required to cover the mouth and nose in the open air, in cemeteries, parks, botanical and historical gardens, on promenades, boulevards, beaches, etc.
  • maintain a social distance – keep a minimum of 1.5 meters between pedestrians.
  • in case of a positive test for COVID-19, undergo isolation. Isolation lasts for 7 days if the patient has no symptoms of infection. However, if the patient’s health requires it, isolation can be extended. Note: as of February 2, isolation for medical professionals, soldiers and officers has been reduced to 7 days from the date of the first positive test result, or to 5 days if the test result taken no earlier than day 5 is negative.
  • In the event of a positive test result for COVID-19 of your cohabitant, quarantine. Quarantine of those living with a coronavirus patient lasts as long as the isolation of the patient. Vaccinated persons who have tested for COVID-19 and tested negative are exempt from quarantine. In addition, those who provide services to COVID patients, soldiers and officers have a shortened quarantine – in this case it lasts 5 days.
  • For those crossing the country’s border, undergo a quarantine of 7 days. People arriving from outside the Schengen zone, the European Union and Turkey do not have the option of exemption from quarantine. An exception is currently made for people crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border due to the armed conflict in Ukraine – they are not subject to quarantine. People entering from Schengen countries, the European Union and Turkey may be exempted from quarantine on the basis of a negative test performed within 24 hours of arrival or before border clearance or after border clearance within 3h after arrival.

Is this the end of the pandemic?

Does the lifting of most economic restrictions, the return to stationary work of, among others, offices, and the shortening of isolation and quarantine mean that it is the end of the pandemic? Unfortunately, the loosening of restrictions does not mean the end of the pandemic. Infections with the Omicron variant continue to occur all the time. The end of the pandemic is difficult to judge when more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus are diagnosed in seven days in Poland. Similar figures are also coming down from other European countries. Nonetheless, more and more European countries are moving away from restrictions, remaining, as we do, exclusively with those that most affect the transmission of the virus. This is due, among other things, to the fact that the next wave of infections does not translate into hospital occupancy and thus an excessive burden on the health system.

At the same time, Omicron although highly infectious, in most cases causes lighter symptoms than other known variants. The number of vaccinated people and those who have so far survived COVID-19 is also significant.

Read: COVID-19 is a thing of the past? World Health Organization experts have decided.

It is assumed that the level of public immunization in Poland is about 90%.

Specialists stress that it is still necessary to avoid closed, cramped and crowded places, to perform diagnostic tests as soon as possible in case of any symptoms, and at the same time to remember to disinfect and wash your hands thoroughly – keeping basic hygiene rules. How dangerous Omicron will be, whether this is the end of the pandemic and what happens next will largely be determined by the level of human vaccination and adherence to current restrictions.

When is the end of the pandemic in the world?

At this point it is difficult to say whether the pandemic is over. The further course is impossible to predict accurately. Ideally, the entire population should be vaccinated as soon as possible to extinguish the pandemic, but this is unlikely to happen.

In fact, scenarios for the next few months could vary. If no new variants of the coronavirus emerge and at the same time most people in the world decide to be vaccinated, the end of the pandemic in Poland and other countries could be declared in late 2022 or early 2023. In the event that vaccinations are carried out, but stretched out over time, it is likely that more variants of SARS-CoV-2 will be created, which will affect the need to create more vaccines and the answer to the question “when is the end of the pandemic” will be: “not anytime soon.” Another scenario assumes that the pandemic will cease completely without being able to identify a specific cause, and yet another that the coronavirus becomes like the flu for us, that is, it is considered a seasonal infection for which vaccination is recommended once a year.

Is this the end of coronavirus?

Currently, it is impossible to say exactly when the end of the pandemic in Poland and the world will actually occur. Although restrictions are being lifted, it is worth following basic safety rules to protect yourself from getting sick. Let’s remember that not everyone’s coronavirus is just a cold. That’s why vaccination, disinfection, avoiding large concentrations of people and wearing masks in confined spaces are still the basics.


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