COVID-19 Tracker

Get an overview of pandemic related restrictions impacting Shopping Places in European markets

Last update: 28 January 2022

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EU

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Concerning safe travel, the Commission urges Member States (MS) to adopt the Council’s recommendation and use the ECDC colour-coded map (available here: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/covid-19/situation-updates/weekly-maps-coordinated-restriction-free-movement) to coordinate restrictions for travellers from high-risk areas.
  • The Commission encourages all Member States to have a contact tracing app in place – these apps should be linked cross-border through the ‘European Federation Gateway Service’.
  • Please find the most recent Commission guidelines here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1986
  • Please find the timeline of EU action here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/timeline-eu-action_en
  • On 25 January 2021, the Commission proposed to review the Council Recommendations which had been issued in October 2020. More specifically, the proposal includes:
    1. An update to the agreed colour code for the mapping of risk areas.
    2. Stricter measures applied to travellers from higher-risk areas.
  • On 20 May 2021, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the EU Digital COVID Certificate. As a reminder, these certificates aim at facilitating free movement within the EU. The document will attest that a person has been either vaccinated against COVID-19, holds a negative test result, or has recovered from a COVID-19 infection. The political agreement will now have to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. The Regulation will enter into force on 1 July, with a phasing-in period of six weeks for the issuance of certificates for those Member States that need additional time.
  • On 1 June 2021, the Digital EU COVID Certificate gateway went live, connecting seven Member States (Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Croatia and Poland) which started issuing certificates.
  • On 9 November 2021, the Council updated the list of non-EU countries for which COVID-19 travel restrictions should be lifted.
  • The EU also published a document providing an overview of vaccines administered by third countries for which most EU Member States/EEA countries would waive travel restrictions. As such, this document also helps you determine if you can get an EU Digital Certificate in the EU after being vaccinated in a third country.
  • On 26 November 2021, in response to the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant ‘Omicron’, EU countries decided to adopt an urgent, temporary restriction on all travel into the EU from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe

  • On 7 December 2021, Commission approves €133 million Swedish scheme to support rail freight and passenger operators affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • On 20 December 2021, the European Commission authorised fifth safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19. More info: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6966.
  • On 21 December 2021 and  regarding the EU Digital COVID Certificate, the Commission adopted binding acceptance period of nine months for vaccination certificates. For more info: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6837.
  • On 10 January 2022, the EU Commission offered a €47 million fund to protect intellectual property of EU SMEs in their COVID-19 recovery and green and digital transitions.
  • On 25 January 2022, the Council today adopted a recommendation on a coordinated approach to facilitate safe free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This recommendation responds to the significant increase in vaccine uptake and the rapid roll-out of the EU digital COVID certificate, and replaces the previously existing recommendation. It will enter into force on 1 February 2022, on the same day as a delegated act amending the digital COVID-19 certificate regulation and providing for an acceptance period of 270 days for vaccination certificates. For more information, please visit: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/01/25/covid-19-council-adopts-new-person-based-recommendation-on-free-movement-restrictions/ 
  • As of Monday 31 January 2022, the European Commission announced that the assessment and supervision of clinical trials throughout the EU will be harmonised, notably via a Clinical Trials Information System (CTIS) run by the European Medicines Agency. On this date the Regulation on Clinical Trials will enter into application. This Regulation will improve conducting clinical trials in the EU, with the highest standards of safety for participants and increased transparency of trial information.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

On 28 January 2021, the Commission announced to extend the Temporary Framework for State Aid until 31 December 2021. Given the persisting economic uncertainty, the Commission also decided to increase the aid ceilings.

This Temporary Framework provides for different types of state aid:

  • Direct grants (or tax advantages) of up to €1.8 million (previously €800,000) per company
  • Member States will be able to convert repayable instruments (guarantees, loans, repayable advances) granted under the Temporary Framework into other forms of aid, such as direct grants.
  • Subsidised State guarantees on bank loans
  • Public and private loans with subsidised interest rates
  • Additional flexibility to enable short-term export credit insurance to be provided by the State where needed.

For companies especially hit by the coronavirus crisis (recording turnover losses of at least 30% during the eligible period compared to the same period of 2019), the State can contribute to the part of the fixed costs of companies that are not covered by their revenues, in an amount up to €10 million per company (previously €3 million).

More information here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_26

On 17 March, the European Commission revealed its plans for a COVID-19 certification scheme, proposing a ‘Digital Green Certificate’. In hopes to stimulate travel and return to free movement within the EU, the framework looks to include information on the vaccination status of an individual against COVID-19. As a next step, the proposal is now going to the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission aims for the Certificate to be in place by mid-June, in time for the European summer holiday season.

On 19 April, the European Commission adopted revised EU guidelines on regional State aid, setting out the rules under which Member States can grant State aid to companies to support the economic development of disadvantaged areas in the EU, while ensuring a level playing field between Member States. The revised Guidelines will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

On 18 November 2021, the European Commission has decided to prolong until 30 June 2022 the State aid Temporary Framework (currently set to expire by 31 December 2021). In order to further accelerate the recovery, the Commission has also decided to introduce two new tools to support the ongoing recovery of the European economy in a sustainable way:

  • Investment support measures to help Member States address the investment gap left behind by the crisis.
  • Solvency support measures to leverage private funds and make them available for investments in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups, and small midcaps.

In light of the observed economic recovery, the Commission has adopted a limited prolongation of 6 months of the Temporary Framework, until 30 June 2022. This will allow Member States, where needed, to extend their support schemes and ensure that businesses still affected by the crisis will not be cut off suddenly from necessary support.

More information here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_6092 

Austria

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General Remarks: The 2G-rule (vaccinated, recovered) applies. Visitors should be aware that persons who are not vaccinated or recovered can only leave home for essential reasons. For everyone else, a certificate of vaccination or recovery is required to access cultural, leisure and sports facilities, and other indoor venues; proof of a negative COVID-19 test is considered insufficient.

(2G rule explained: Guests provide proof of their vaccination status or a medical certificate showing recovery from infection in the past 180 days as confirmed by a PCR test. The austria.info website explains the rules for approved vaccine doses and recovery. The 2G rule therefore means vaccinated or recovered)

  • Facemask: The use of face masks is mandatory outdoors wherever a 2-metre gap between persons from different households cannot be maintained.

    Masks are worn in enclosed public spaces, public transport, taxis, all shops, cultural and leisure facilities, in restaurants and bars, ski lifts, work places, and premises of elderly care and health care.

    Stricker rules may apply at the regional level.

  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Personal care facilities are open. The 2G-rule applies and FFP2 masks or equivalent must be worn indoors. Stricter rules may apply at the regional level.
  • Non-essential shops: Non-essential shops are open. The 2G-rule applies and wearing a FFP2 mask or equivalent is mandatory. 
  • Restaurants: Catering establishments are open. The 2G-rule applies and FFP2 masks or equivalent must be worn indoors. Stricter rules may apply at the regional level.
  • Cultural institutions: Leisure and cultural facilities are open. The 2G-rule applies and FFP2 masks or equivalent must be worn indoors. Stricter rules may apply at the regional level.

Shop owners & tenants

  • Since 2021, a so-called “Ausfallsbonus” will enable businesses whose turnover decrease by 40 % or more, to get reimbursed. The reimbursement will amount to 30 % of the decreased turnover. The Ausfallsbonus has been extended until June 2021. More information can be found here (in German) https://www.usp.gv.at/news/Verlaengerung-der-Wirtschaftshilfen-bis-Juni-2021.html
  • Rental reduction: if leased premises cannot be used or utilized at all due to extraordinary circumstances, the tenant does not have to pay rent for the duration and to the extent to which the premises is unable to be used pursuant to sections 1104 et seq ABGB. (Here there is only a judgement over a hairdresser in first instance)

Restaurants

  • Covered by the “Ausfallsbonus”

Culture

  • Covered by the “Ausfallsbonus”

Comprehensive help package for companies:

  • Tax payments deferrals or reductions (€10 billion allocated): With a simple form, companies can either ask for a complete deferral of their tax payments or for a reduction. No default interest will be charged for the deferrals.
  • Emergency aid (€4 billion): This finances, among other things, short-time work program and aids to small companies.

Belgium

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: In Belgium, the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) is required to access catering establishments (restaurants, bars, cafés), cinemas and museums, fitness centres and swimming pools and large events
  • Face masks:

    The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including public transport. Exemptions:

    • Children under 6 years old.
    • People working alone in the office.
    • TV presenters and their guests, and representatives of religious cults during services. People must keep a distance of 3 metres from each other.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Wearing facemasks is compulsory.
  • Non essential shops
    • Bars and restaurants are open until 11 PM.
      • Covid Safe Ticket is required. You can find your Covid Safe Ticket at https://covidsafe.be/en/ or via the CovidSafeBE app.
    • Wear a face mask. When you are seated at the table you may take your face mask off.
    • You may sit at the table in groups of maximum 6 people.
  • Restaurants and bars are open with limitations.  As of January 28, all catering establishments will be able to remain open until midnight.
  • Cultural institutions are open with limitations.

    Night bars and dance clubs and indoor amusement parks are closed.

    The following establishments are open:

    • Museums, libraries, bookstores.
    • Cinemas (maximum of 200 visitors per screening).
    • Gyms and fitness centers, indoor swimming pools.

    As of January 28, the following indoor areas will reopen to the public: amusement parks, indoor playgrounds, zoos and animal parks, subtropical swimming pools and recreational areas of swimming pools, trampoline parks, bowling and darts halls, snooker and billiard halls, paintball and laser tag centers, escape rooms, casinos, arcades, and betting shops.

General remarks

  • The federal government has implemented a series of measures  to help entrepreneurs restart their activities. In addition to the extension of certain measures taken during the first confinement, the federal executive also approved a vast socio-economic plan, with a special envelope of up to €500 million. Last April, the government also decided to release an additional €835 million to support sectors gradually opened from May 2021 on, such as HORECA.

Shop owners & tenants

  • The federal government developed a payment delay and loan guarantee scheme for households and businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis.
  • The Flemish government
    provides a loan to tenants (of commercial leases) of a maximum two months’ rent up to €35,000.
  • The Belgian Cour de Cassation has emphasized the good faith principle in the performance of lease
    agreements. An interest claim or an eviction request of the tenant due to possible delays because of the Coronavirus outbreak will not be successfully granted before the courts.

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A
  • Companies/organisations can obtain postponement of capital repayments for existing credits for maturities in January, February and March 2021 until 31.03.2021 at the latest. This measure should give companies/organisations the necessary oxygen to meet their (other) financial obligations now that their income is diminishing or has completely disappeared. The deadline for the moratorium is extended to the end of June 2021 , according to the terms in force.
  • For every employer all temporary unemployment resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 will still be considered as temporary unemployment due to force majeure from 1.10.2020 to 30.06.2021
  • On the 19.02.21, Commission approved the €149 million Belgian scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies (except the financial sector) in Flanders. The public support will take the form of direct grants to companies that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 60% during the period 1 April to 31 December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The beneficiaries will receive grants up to a maximum of 10% of their turnover during this period in 2019. For medium and large companies, the aid will be limited to a maximum of 70% of their uncovered fixed costs during the same period in 2020. For micro and small businesses, it will be limited to 90% of the uncovered fixed costs during the same 2020 period. Grants will not exceed €2 million per beneficiary and are subject to a further variable ceiling based on employment and turnover decline of the beneficiary.
  • On the 31.03.21, Commission approved the €200 million Belgian subsidised loans scheme to support economic activity in Wallonia. The public support, which will take the form of subsidised interest rates for senior and subordinated loans, will be open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies active in all sectors of the economy, except for the financial sector. The aid will be administered by the Société Régionale d’Investissement de Wallonie S.A. The objective of the measure is to mitigate the liquidity shortages that these businesses experienced due to the measures that were implemented in Wallonia due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Bulgaria

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General remarks: Bulgarian authorities have introduced a set of restrictions (in Bulgarian) valid until 31 March 2022.

    The ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC), or an equivalent document, is required to all participants in the activities listed below. It must contain one of the following:

    • Proof of full vaccination. Until 31 March 2022, the document is also valid between days 15 and 30 after the administration of the first dose, for vaccines requiring two doses.
    • Proof of recovery. Validity: between 15 and 365 days from the first positive test result.
    • Negative test result. Validity: 48 hours for rapid antigen tests, 72 hours for molecular (PCR) tests.
  • Face masks: The use of facemasks or similar means that cover nose and mouth is mandatory in indoor public spaces.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Visits to SPA, wellness, thalassotherapy and balneotherapy (medical SPA) centres are allowed only if all participants, including staff, hold a valid EUDCC or equivalent document. The following activities are suspended:
    • Visits to medical establishments. Exceptions: patients in terminal stage, visits to specialized institutions for social services.
    • Planned hospital admissions and surgeries. Exception: transplants of organs, tissues and cells; diagnostics and treatment of patients with oncological and oncohematological diseases, assisted reproduction activities and births (regardless of the method of delivery), abortions, rehabilitation activities, long-term treatment and psychiatric care.
  • Non-essential shops are open with limitations.Visits to shopping malls and centres, shops with a net retail area of over 300m2, bazaars and indoor exhibitions are allowed only if all participants, including staff, hold a valid EUDCC or equivalent document.
  • Restaurants: : Visits to catering establishments (restaurants, bars, etc.) are allowed only if all visitors and personnel above 18 years of age hold a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC) or similar document for completed vaccination, recovery, or negative 48 hours rapid-antigenic test or 72-hours PCR test.
  • Cultural institutions:

    The following activities are allowed only if all participants above 18 years of age, including staff, hold a valid ‘EU Digital Covid Certificate’ (EUDCC) or equivalent documents:

    • Visits to libraries, museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, circus performances, concerts and other indoor stage performances.
    • Indoor team sports. Exception: trainings and competitions for registered athletes and licensed sports federations. Sports competition can only take place without audience.
    • Fitness centres, sports halls and clubs, swimming pools.
    • Gambling halls, casinos and certain catering and entertainment establishments.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

The European Commission has approved a Bulgarian BGN 500 million (approx. €255 million) public guarantee scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary framework adopted by the Commission on 19 March 2020.

On 30 March 2021, the Commission approved the modification of a scheme providing wage support to employers and the self-employed in sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the state aid Temporary Framework, the scheme, first approved in July 2020 and previously extended in December 2020, was granted a second extension until end-2021, a budgetary increase from approximately €20.5 million to around €76.7 million, and amendments extending the scope of the eligible beneficiaries.

Croatia

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: Information on the situation in the country is available on the National Platform for emergency preparedness, and on the official website on COVID-19 information.
  • Face masks: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including public transport. Exemptions:
    • People working alone in the office.
    • TV presenters and their guests, and representatives of religious cults during services. People must keep a distance of 2 metres from each other.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Gyms, fitness, and sport recreation centres are opened as long as the general public health recommendations are respected. Other personal care services are available, as long as the general public health recommendations are also respected.
  • Non-essential shops: Shops are open but the general public health recommendations on physical distancing, personal hygiene and disinfection should be maintained. At least 4 square metres of space for each customer must be secured.
  • Restaurants: Drinks, beverages and sweets can be served exclusively to guests sitting at tables, in strict compliance with prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Working hours can be set from 6 AM to 12 AM. Food delivery is allowed provided all epidemiological measures are complied with.
  • Cultural institutions: Special measures have been enacted to limit the number of visitors to certain tourist attractions. Before visiting, check the restrictions on the destination’s website.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

On 11 January, the European Commission approved an approximately €202 million (HRK 1.525 billion) Croatian State aid scheme to support companies of all sizes active in the sports and tourism sectors (and in directly related ones, such as accommodations, restaurants) and , affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Czech Republic

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: Facemasks and respirators must be worn and the rules for social distancing respected.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Personal care services are open. Facemasks and respirators must be worn and the rules for social distancing respected.
  • Non-essential shops: All shops and service points are open. Facemasks and respirators must be worn and the rules for social distancing respected.
  • Restaurants: Restaurants, bars, music and night clubs, casinos and gambling halls are closed from 10pm-5am. Certificates are required for entry. Facemasks and respirators must be worn and the rules for social distancing respected.
  • Cultural institutions: Cultural, leisure and sport facilities are open. Certificates are required for entry. Facemasks and respirators must be worn and the rules for social distancing respected.

Shop owners & tenants

  • A COVID – Rent program has been put in place and applies to all entities that have been banned from operating. Tenants whose shops have been closed will get 50% of Q3 rent as State Aid. Landlords need to sign an affidavit in which they confirm the existence of the lease during Q3, the amount of rent and that at least 50 % of the Q3 rent has been paid.

  • More details available here: https://www.mpo.cz/cz/rozcestnik/pro-media/tiskove-zpravy/opatreni-na-pomoc-podnikatelum-a-zivnostnikum–253690/

  • On the 24.02.2021, Commission approved the €115 million Czech rent compensation scheme to support retail businesses and service companies. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will cover 50% of the original rent due for the months of October, November and December 2020. The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages that companies are facing due to the measures introduced by the Czech government to limit the spread of the coronavirus.   

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A
  • Businessmen who have had to close their premises since October as a result of the government decree will receive additional financial assistance from the state to the value of CZK 400 per employee. This was approved by the government on the 04.01.2021.

  • Support for closed premises will be provided in the form of a subsidy for operating costs, applied retrospectively to the period from 14.10.2020 to 10.01.2021, with the option that this final deadline may be extended if the epidemic situation continues to require the closure of these establishments; it will be paid out only for those days when business operations were directly restricted on the basis of the crisis measures, primarily through a ban on the presence of the public in premises, but also in other ways.

  • The first call of the subsidy programme named COVID – Gastro – Closed premises will have 2.5 billion crowns made available. Employees will include both those directly employed and any self-employed persons.

  • The Antivirus Program was introduced for the protection of employment. This program mainly consists of subsidies for wage payments, which are paid to the employees by the employers affected by COVID-19 and related government measures. The subsidies will be provided up to 100% of the wage compensation, up to the maximum amount of CZK 50,000 / month / employee, until the 29-02-2021.

  • On the 29.03.21, Commission approved a Czech scheme (‘COVID Invest’) for guarantees on new investment loans to support lending to companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as the modification of an existing scheme (‘COVID Plus’), which provides guarantees to large exporting companies. The ‘COVID Invest’ scheme will share its budget with an earlier scheme (‘COVID III’), which was approved by the Commission on 15 May 2020. These two measures can jointly generate loans with a nominal amount of up to approximately €19.3 billion (CZK 500 billion). The ‘COVID Invest’ scheme will provide guarantees on new investment loans to SMEs and large enterprises with up to 500 employees active in all sectors, excluding the financial sector as well as companies active in the extraction or manufacturing of coal, petroleum, or gas, tobacco manufacturing and retail sales, and, gambling and betting activities. The scheme will provide guarantees on loans addressing the liquidity needs of firms whose financial needs have increased significantly over the past year, including fast-growth companies, start-ups and scale-ups. The scheme will be managed by the Czech promotional bank (CMZRB).

 

  • On April 26, European Commission approved a Czech scheme worth €1.9 billion to support the uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will be open to all companies of all sizes and active in all sectors, except the financial sector. The public support will compensate part of the uncovered fixed costs incurred by the beneficiaries in a period between March 2020 and December 2021 and will take the form of direct grants. Eligible companies must have sustained a turnover decline of at least 30% in the relevant period, compared to before the coronavirus outbreak. The companies will be entitled to receive support amounting to a maximum of 70% of their fixed costs (up to 90% of their fixed costs if they are micro or small enterprises). The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the economic difficulties and the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to the restrictive measures imposed by the Czech government to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

 

  • On May 10, The European Commission approved an approximately € 1.9 billion (CZK 50 billion) Czech scheme addressed to companies of all sizes and active in all sectors, except the financial sector. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants, guarantees or loans to compensate beneficiaries for the expenditures incurred in the period February 2020 to December 2021. Eligible companies are those that experienced a minimum decline in turnover in the range of 25% to 50% during the relevant period, if compared to the same period before the coronavirus outbreak. In the case of companies active in the cultural sector, the eligible ones are those that have been prevented or restricted from providing cultural services to the public because of the measures put in place by the government to limit the spread of the virus. The aim of the scheme is to provide the beneficiaries with sufficient liquidity to continue their activities during and after the coronavirus outbreak.

Denmark

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: From 1st February, there will no longer be COVID-19 restrictions in Denmark. This follows a recommendation from the Epidemic Commission. More will follow regarding restrictions on entry into Denmark.

    Important: In Denmark, the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) is required to access the following public spaces:

    • Public transport (intercity, intercity light rails, long-distance buses)
    • Higher education, youth and adult education and language centres
    • Cultural activities, attractions, swimming baths and gyms
    • Restaurants, cafes and bars
    • Service professions (tattooists, piercing, spas, etc.)
  • Face masks: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spacesincluding public transport.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: EUDCC is required if you are going for a massage, haircut, tattoo etc. You must always wear a facemask.
  • Non-essential shops: All stores and shopping centres are open. You must keep a safe distance when shopping and wear a facemask in grocery stores, shops, and shopping centres. In some shops, you may be required to present an EUDCC as businesses are allowed to make their own requirements. Alcohol must not be sold between 10 PM and 5 AM.
  • Restaurants: At restaurants, cafés and bars, you must present a EUDCC. Facemasks must be worn when not seated. All restaurants, cafés and bars must be closed from 11 PM to 5 AM. No alcohol served or sold after 10 PM until 5 AM.
  • Cultural institutions: Museums, cinemas, art galleries, amusement parks, libraries, music schools, etc. are open. You must present an EUDCC to access the facilities. The following remains closed:
    • Arcades, casinos, play centers and water parks, trade fairs, rooms used for rent for parties such as weddings, confirmations, birthdays and other private anniversaries.
    • Rooms and venues where concerts and other cultural events are held with standing audiences.

    Discos and nightclubs are closed. Bars must close at 11 PM. Consumption of alcohol in buses is prohibited. Operators must communicate this with signs.

Shop owners & tenants

  • Companies affected by restrictions in the period from November 1 to February 28, 2021 can apply for compensation. Here, the compensation period will depend on which restriction (s) the company is affected by. To seek compensation, the company must be able to document that one or more restrictions are the cause of a revenue loss.

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • On 23 March 2021, the Commission approved, under EU state aid rules, a scheme of around €38.5 million to support Danish companies active in the culture sector and small non-professional sporting activities affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the scheme, the beneficiaries are eligible for grants and compensations for the losses incurred due to the restrictive measures set in place due to the pandemic.
  • Under the scheme, companies active in the culture sector and small non-professional sporting activities can receive a grant covering 50% of the ticket prices for activities taking place between 27 June and 9 August 2020, if they provided a 50% discount to their customers with respect to their prices on 15 June 2020. Companies organising summer camps offering culture or sports related activities to clients under 18 years old during the same period are eligible for a compensation of 25% of the participation fee if they granted a 25% discount on such fees to their customers.
  • Companies across the country can seek compensation for the period from December 9, 2020 to January 17, 2021. Companies affected by restrictions in the period from November 1 to February 28, 2021 can apply for compensation. Here, the compensation period will depend on which restriction (s) the company is affected by. To seek compensation, the company must be able to document that one or more restrictions are the cause of a revenue loss.

  • On the 05.03.2021, the European Commission approved the €34 million Danish tax deferral scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of an interest-free credit facility concerning the payment of VAT due by SMEs in March 2021 ( i.e., the VAT due by small undertakings for their activities for the whole year 2020 and by medium-sized undertakings for the third and fourth quarters of 2020). The aim of the scheme is to ease the liquidity constraints faced by those SMEs that have been severely affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, thus helping them to continue their activities.
  • Proposed initiatives introduced in the Danish parliament aim to strengthen the liquidity of the Danish business sector in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There are measures to postpone the payment deadlines for “A-tax” and social security contributions for all businesses for a period of four and one-half months, extend “loan arrangements” (effectively, a refund of tax in the form of an interest-free loan) for the payment of A-tax for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and allow a similar value added tax (VAT) “loan arrangement” for SMEs.

France

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: Information on the situation in the country is available on the official website on COVID-19 information.

    Important: In France, the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) or “vaccination pass” is required to access the following public spaces:

    • Catering establishments;
    • Leisure and culture activities;
    • Trade fairs and exhibitions;
    • Long-distance travel (domestic flights, TGV, etc.)
    • Tourist accommodations (campsites, holiday clubs, etc.)
  • Face masks: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including public transport. Please note that wearing a mask is also mandatory outdoors, in the streets of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Exemptions:
    • Children under 6 years old.
    • TV presenters and their guests, and representatives of religious cults during services.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Non-medical close-contact professions, including hairdressers and beauticians, are open without time restrictions. Health protocols must always be respected.
  • Non-essential shops  are open without time restrictions. Please note that the EUDCC is mandatory for department stores and shopping centers of more than 20,000m2 by decision of the prefect of the department.

  • Restaurants: All bars, cafes and restaurants are open without time restrictions. But a Covid-19 certificate is required to access all catering establishments including terraces. Health protocols must be always respected.

  • Cultural institutions: Cinemas, museums, and indoor attractions are open. Please note that EUDCC is required to enter these places. Health protocols must always be respected.

    Nightclubs and dance halls are close: this ban applies also to dance activities in establishments open to the public, such as restaurants or bars.

Shop owners & tenants

Announced on the 31.01.2021:

  • Closed businesses (in shopping centers) will benefit from the reinforced solidarity fund, with a right of option between compensation for loss of turnover up to €10,000 or compensation of 20% of turnover capped at €200,000 per month.
  • For network stores, particularly large integrated retailers for which the €200,000 compensation would be insufficient, the scheme to cover 70% of fixed costs will be open to them. This aid will enable shopkeepers to meet their rent and charges.
  • On 09.03.2021, the European Commission approved the €2 billion French scheme to further support all companies that will suffer a monthly turnover decline between January 2021 and November 2021 of at least 30% compared to the same period prior to the coronavirus outbreak. The aid will help the beneficiaries pay 70% (90% in case of micro and small companies) of their fixed costs that are not covered by revenues, up to a maximum of €10 million per undertaking. The purpose of the scheme is to mitigate the economic difficulties and the liquidity shortages that the beneficiaries are facing due to the restrictive measures that the French government had to impose by the French government to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Restaurants

  • More than €10 billion have yet been dedicated to the F&B sector, through tax exoneration, 100% furlough scheme coverage, and up to 10k€/months can be deployed for each structure proving more than 50% loss of sales.

Culture

  • €385 million have been destined to support to the cultural sector.
  • Solidarity Fund: Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that are administratively closed will be able to receive monthly compensation for lost turnover of up to €10,000. For the month of December, administratively closed businesses will be able to access the Solidarity Fund regardless of their size: aid of up to €10,000 or compensation of 20% of their 2019 turnover. For all other businesses with fewer than 50 employees that can remain open but suffer a loss of more than 50% of their turnover, Solidarity Fund aid of up to €1,500 per month is restored in November and December.
  • Partial activity: For totally or partially closed businesses, all employees, including the head of the business if he is an employee, benefit from the partial activity scheme, with zero remaining at the expense of the business. Employees receive an indemnity of 84% of their net remuneration, with the State and Unédic paying the equivalent amount to the companies. For companies that are open but with a reduction in your activity: All employees benefit from the partial activity scheme, with zero remaining at the expense of the company for companies in the tourism, events, culture, sport or related sectors, with 10% remaining at the expense of the company in other sectors. The employee still receives 84% of his net remuneration.
  • Reinforcement and extension of exemptions from social security contributions: For companies with fewer than 50 employees that are administratively closed, if you are an employer, you will benefit over the period concerned from total exemption from your employer’s social security contributions, excluding supplementary pensions, as well as assistance with the payment of social security contributions of 20% of the wage bill.
  • Referral of social contributions: Employers may defer all or part of the payment of employee and employer contributions for the deadlines of 5 and 15 December 2020, simply by making a prior online request on the URSSAF website. If there is no response within 48 hours, this request will be considered as accepted. Contributions that are not paid are automatically deferred. The collection bodies (URSSAF, MSA funds) will contact employers at a later date to propose a plan for settling their debts.
  • A tax credit to reduce rents: The Government has proposed that a tax credit be introduced in the finance bill for 2021 to encourage landlords to cancel part of the rents due by their tenant businesses that are administratively closed or particularly affected by the health restrictions implemented. The Government has obtained a commitment from the main representatives of landlords to cancel rents from tenant companies for the month of November 2020.
  • Reinforcement of state-guaranteed loans and direct state loans to businesses: All businesses will be able to take out a state-guaranteed loan until 30 June 2021 by contacting their usual bank advisor. Repayment of the state-guaranteed loan may be spread over a further one to five years, with rates for small and medium-sized businesses negotiated with French banks ranging from 1 to 2.5%, including the state guarantee. Companies that so wish may request a further one-year deferment of capital repayment, i.e. a total of two years of deferment.
  • EU state aid: On 15 October 2021, the European Commission has approved, under the EU state aid rules, a €700 million French scheme to support certain retailers and services affected by the coronavirus pandemic and restrictive measures taken by the French government to limit the spread of the virus. More information here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_5261  
  • 26 November 2021: The European Commission has approved, under the EU State aid rules, a EUR 700 million French scheme to support certain companies particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictive measures put in place by the French government to limit the spread of the virus.
  • On 26 January 2022, European Commission endorses positive preliminary assessment of France’s request for €7.4 billion disbursement under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Moore information here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_576

Germany

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General note: The ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ or national equivalent is required to access public spaces and indoor venues and events (some venues, however, only accept the EUDCC). Regional governments adapt rules on a case-by-case basis. Travellers are advised to consult conditions in the states before their arrival. 

    Across Germany, the 2G-rule (vaccinated, recovered) applies. In practice this means that all access to public facilities including tourist accommodations, restaurants and bars, cultural institutions, and leisure and sports facilities, is only possible with proof of full vaccination or past infection; a negative COVID-19 test is considered insufficient.

  • Face masks: Everybody aged above age six must wear a face mask when using public transport or in public buildings and shops. Medical masks (surgical masks, KN95, or FFP2 masks) are required. Face masks should also be worn in places where social distance rules (1.5 meters) cannot be kept. Mask wearing is obligatory in schools for pupils from the seventh grade (12-13 years) upwards.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: The 2G-rule is in effect. Details on restrictions are the responsibility of state and regional governments.

  • Non-essential shops: The 2G-rule is in effect. Details on restrictions are the responsibility of state and regional governments.

  • Restaurants: The 2G-rule is in effect. Details on restrictions are the responsibility of state and regional governments.

  • Cultural institutions: The 2G-rule is in effect. Details on restrictions are the responsibility of state and regional governments.

On 31 December 2020 new legislation on commercial rent entered into effect, which makes clear that shutdowns and other governmental restrictions constitute contract frustration. However, the legislation does not answer the question whether and for what amount and for the benefit of which party – landlord or tenant – the lease can be amended, which is likely to lead to further debates in front of courts.

Shop owners & tenants

  • According to a law, which entered into force on 1 April, the non-payment of rents due for April, May and June 2020 does not entitle the landlord to terminate the lease until June 30, 2022, provided that the non-performance is due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, the non-payment does not lead to a termination right of the landlord, the claim of the landlord for the payment of the rent remains in place.

Restaurants

  • VAT reduction in catering: The VAT for meals in catering will be reduced beyond 30 June 2021 until 31 December 2022 to the reduced tax rate of 7%.

Culture

  • EUR 0.4 billion will support the cultural sector (assuming 40% of total EUR 1 bn allocated to 2020).

Between January and June 2021, the German government will deploy €130 billion under its “Überbrückungshilfe III” package to stabilise the economy. On 10 June 2021, the Federal government announced to extend the package until 30 September 2021:

  • Short-term aid (available since June 2020): €25 billion in grants are currently available which will not have to be repaid. On the 25.03.21, Germany extended its liquidity aid program for pandemic-hit companies until the end of year 2021. The government also decided to lift the upper limit for loans in the emergency program to a maximum of 1.8 million euros from April 1 to help also larger companies. The special loan program was launched in March 2020 and so far has channeled liquidity aid of 49 billion euros to mainly small- and medium-sized firms.
  • Extraordinary economic assistance: Companies affected are eligible for a one-off lump-sum payment of up to 75% of the revenue they generated in November 2019. A total of up to €10 billion is available for this purpose.
  • Extended tax loss carryback (to stay solvent despite revenue losses): For 2020 and 2021, the maximum basic amount will be upped to €5 million or, in the case of a joint assessment, to €10 million.
  • Reduction of the electricity surcharge: The federal government will be subsidising a reduction of the surcharge on electricity consumers: it will be 6.5 ct/kwh in 2021, and 6.0 ct/kwh in 2022.

More information available here: https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Web/EN/Issues/Priority-Issues/stimulus-package-for-everyone/stimulus-package-for-everyone.html#t-companies

German finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) has defended his €240 billion stimulus package as part of the budget consultations in the German parliament. The plan seeks to encourage economic recovery by supporting national businesses.

Greece

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: Important: in Greece, the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) or an equivalent document is required to access some public spaces, including catering establishments, indoor venues and touristic attractions.

    Certificates must be accompanied by documents confirming the holder’s identity, and contain one of the following:

    • Proof of full vaccination
    • Proof of recovery, valid between 30 days and 3 months after the first positive result. Certificates issued between 15 July and 31 October 2021 (included) remain valid.
    • Only accepted in some cases: negative test result.
  • Face masks: It is mandatory to wear a facemask in all indoor spaces and public transport means.

    Until 31 January, wearing high protection facemasks (KN95/FFP2) is required in supermarkets, and for workers in catering establishments and hospitals.

  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Personal care services are open with limitations. Different restrictions apply in “red” and “yellow” areas (find out more at covid19.gov.gr/covid-map)

  • Non-essential shops: Open. 

  • Restaurants:

    Until 31 January, restaurants, cafes and bars are open until midnight, and for seated customers only.

    The ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) or an equivalent document is required to access restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, late-night bars, pubs.

    Certificates must be accompanied by documents confirming identity, and contain one of the following:

    • Proof of full vaccination
    • Proof of recovery, valid for 6 months after the first positive test
    • Only accepted outdoors: negative test result to a molecular (PCR) test, valid 72 hours, or to a rapid test, valid 48 hours.
      Children aged 4-17, both indoors and outdoors, can also provide a negative self-test, valid 24 hours (self-declaration downloadable at self-test.gov.gr).
  • Cultural institutions: The ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) or an equivalent document is required to access archaeological sites, museums and monuments in indoors spaces, cinemas, theatres, concerts, live performances, etc.

Shop owners & tenants

  • Rental reduction: All leased premises are entitled to 40% discount on November’s.
    All residential premises leased by employees whose business was forced to shut down are entitled to 40% rental discount for the month of November. The government will give directly to all employees of businesses that are forced to close, €800 net for the month of November. The businesses forced to be closed need to declare their employees and in return the government will cover their social security costs but they will not be able to let them go until 31 December 2020.

Restaurants

  • On 11 May, the European Commission approved a €500 million Greek support scheme to support food service companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will provide support to food service companies, such as restaurants and mobile food service, event catering, beverage serving and other food service activities, affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme is co-financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and will be open to companies of all sizes that experienced a turnover decline of more than 30% over 2020, compared to 2019. The aid will take the form of direct grants, with each grant amounting to up to 7% of the beneficiary’s annual turnover. The scheme intends to provide beneficiaries with working capital for acquiring raw materials necessary for their activities.

Culture

  • N/A
  • Employees, self-employed workers, businesses, and real estate owners affected by the pandemic will be the beneficiaries of cash assistance from the state in December. Benefits will be disbursed to workers on furlough, businesses will be paid the returnable advance while property owners will be paid half their losses from a mandatory rent reduction, ANA reports. For landlords, the government will pay out 50% of the losses they incurred through a mandatory 40% rent reduction, which will be paid directly into their accounts after they submit a statement of income loss via TAXISnet for November.
  • Concerning the Christmas bonus salary paid by private-sector employers, the state will pay businesses for the period that employees have been on furlough but not calculated on their nominal monthly salary but at a fixed rate of 534 euros.
  • On 10 February 2021, the European Commission approved the €500 million Greek scheme to support small and medium-sized businesses. The aid will be open to SMEs active in all sectors except the financial, primary agriculture, tobacco and fisheries sectors, and will take the form of direct grants. The amount of the grants corresponds to the interests beneficiaries would have had to pay on existing loans for the months of January, February and March 2021. 
  • On 9 March 2021, the European Commission approved a €60 million Greek scheme to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’). The measure is open to all sectors except the financial, primary agriculture, fishery and aquaculture sectors. The public support will take the form of direct grants. The objective of the measure is to help ensure sufficient working capital for SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The amount of the grant corresponds to 80% of working capital expenses for the reference year 2019 or 2020.
  • On 17 May 2021, the European Commission approved a €793 million Greek subsidised loan scheme to support micro, small and medium-sized companies affected by coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of direct grants to cover part of the instalments of existing financial debt, with a capped monthly contribution depending on the credit status of the loan and of the beneficiary. The measure will be open to SMEs that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, active in all sectors of the economy, except for the financial sector, which comply with additional conditions such as turnover or income, value of immovable property owned, amount of deposits in Greece and amount of financial products subscribed. The aid will provide liquidity support to qualifying beneficiaries for eight months. The purpose of the measure is to safeguard businesses against the risk of default, allowing them to preserve their economic activity, helping them recover after the outbreak, and mitigating potential cliff effects from the end of the suspension of debt payments by banks in the context of the outbreak. For most of the loans, the suspension ended at the end of March 2021. In addition, the support under granted under this measure can be recovered if the beneficiary defaults on its obligations during a monitoring period of up to 18 months following the granting of the aid.

  • On 24 November 2021, the European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2.27 billion Greek scheme for the production of electricity from renewable sources and high efficiency combined heat and power (CHP). The measure will help Greece reach its renewable energy targets, without unduly distorting competition, and will contribute to the new European objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Hungary

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: Wearing facemasks is required in indoors public spaces, such as stores, shopping centres, post offices, health and social care institutions, public transport, theatres, cinemas, and at sports events.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Wearing a facemask is required. Visits in hospitals are not allowed.
  • Non-essential shops: Stores are open. Wearing a facemask is required. It’s possible to enter even without immunity certificate.
  • Restaurants: Wearing a facemask is required.
  • Cultural institutions: Wearing a facemask is required.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

Italy

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General note: Stricter health measures apply while the state of emergency is in place – until 31 March 2022. Travellers are strongly advised to consult official webpages regularly.
  • Face masks: Wearing a facemask is always mandatory, both outdoors and in indoor public places throughout Italy, such as bars, restaurants, museums and public transport.

    Wearing FFP2 facemasks is compulsory:

    • on all kinds of public transport
    • when attending shows, both outdoors and indoors
    • in cinemas, theatres, entertainment and music venues
    • during sports competitions, both outdoors and indoors
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: 

    In white, yellow and orange regions:

    • the ‘basic green pass’ is required to access personal care services
    • a ‘super green pass’ is required to access wellness centres and SPAs (excepted for rehabilitation and therapeutic activities – in this case, a ‘basic green pass’ is enough)
    • only people who hold a ‘super green pass’ and were administered the third/booster vaccine dose or hold a negative test result can visit patients in health structures and nursing homes.
  • Non-essential shops: In all regions, shops are open and must display a sign indicating the maximum number of people allowed inside at any particular time. Shopping centres may also remain open at weekends and on holidays and pre-holidays. Measures on social distance and the use of facemask remain in place.
  • Restaurants: In bars, restaurants and other catering establishments in white, yellow and orange regions:
    • holding a ‘super green pass’ is required. This applies indoors and outdoors, and to customers sitting at a table and at the counter.
    • Different rules on the number of people allowed to sit at the same table depending on the colour of the region.
  • Cultural institutions: In white, yellow and orange regions:
    • a ‘super green pass’ is required to access cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, exhibitions, stadiums and sports facilities, gyms and swimming pools, gaming halls, betting shops and casinos, indoors wellness centres and SPAs (except for rehabilitation and therapeutic activities), cultural and recreational centres.
    • Until 31 January, clubs and dance halls are closed.

Shop owners & tenants

  • EUR 1.5 billion worth of tax credit on rent, lease or concession of non-residential properties (60% per month) for SMEs.

Restaurants

  • EUR 2.4 billion in reduced taxes and contributions for all firms in severely affected sectors (including restaurants and bars) and all firms below €2 million, which include (a) suspension of VAT payments and contributions in March, (b) 60% tax break of on commercial rents, (c) 50% tax break for sanitization costs, (d) Deducibility of donations for Covid19, (e) Suspension of expiring tax payments demands and tax declarations.

Culture

  • EUR 0.25 billion in funds to support education and culture, including funds for additional teacher and endowments to the arts.

Stimulus package in place:

  • Recapitalization of large enterprises (€45 billion allocated) through convertible and/or subordinated loans (via new CDP fund “Patrimonio Rilancio”).
  • Deferred taxes and contributions (€10,7 billion) for all firms in severely affected sectors and all firms below €2 million.
  • Deferral of VAT payments (€4,6 billion) for April and May 2020. This deferral applies to companies with revenues below €50 million if their fall income is above 33% of their total income, or companies with revenue of more than €50 million if their fall in income is larger than 50% of their total income.
  • Keeping people employed as well as supporting the unemployed (€35.4 billion).
  • EU state aid: On 10 November 2021, the European Commission has approved a €4.5 billion Italian scheme to support companies and the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. More information here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_5881

For 2021, Italy is currently considering a new stimulus package worth €24 billion.

On the 23.02.2021, Commission approved a €61.4 million Italian scheme to support private employers in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The public support will take the form of an exemption from the payment of employers’ compulsory social security contributions (except for contributions to insurance for accidents at work), for a period of four weeks, until 31 January 2021. The scheme will be open to employers registered in Italy and active in all sectors, with the exclusion of the financial and agriculture sectors. 

Lithuania

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: Certificates of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result are required to enter most indoor venues including non-essential stores, personal services, tourist accommodations, cultural, leisure and sports facilities, and restaurants and bars.
  • Face masks: Facemasks and respirators must be worn at all indoor venues and events.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services:

    Personal care services are open. Certificates are required for entry. Facemasks and respirators must be worn. Rules for social distancing should be respected.

  • Non-essential shops: Non-essential shops are open. Certificates are required for entry. Facemasks and respirators must be worn. Rules for social distancing should be respected.
  • Restaurants:

    Catering establishments are open are open. Certificates are required for entry. Facemasks and respirators must be worn. Rules for social distancing should be respected.

  • Cultural institutions: Cinemas, museums and indoor attractions are open with limitations. 

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

Governments partially covered tenant payments, sharing the burden between landlords, tenants and government, based on fixed allocation percentages. Currently only applicable for the first wave of lock-downs. Second wave of lcokdowns on-going.

Luxembourg

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including public transport. Exemptions:
    • Children under 6 years of age
    • Persons with a disability or a pathology with a medical certificate
    • Speakers and religious actors during the exercise of their professional activities
    • Theatre and film actors as they exercise their professional artistic activity
    • Musicians and dancers while performing their activity in a professional context
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Wellness-related activities (spa, wellness centres, etc.) as well as physical exercise facilities (such as gyms and fitness centres) are open. The rules are those related to sports and fitness activities.
  • Non-essential shops: Shops, including non-essential shops, are open to the public.

    Shopping centres with a sales area equal to or greater than 400m2 must in addition, provide a health protocol, which has be accepted by the National Health Directorate.

    In order to enable the shops to welcome their customers in the best possible safety conditions, certain measures have been put in place:

    • Masks must be worn for all activities in closed spaces, open to the public
    • Try to keep an interpersonal distance of 2 meters
    • Consider the protective measures
    • Avoid hand-to-hand exchanges
    • Not wearing a mask in shops is punishable and customers may be refused
  • Restaurants, bars, and cafés are open to the public both indoors and outdoors until 11PM.

    Restaurants, bars and cafes are subject to the CovidCheck Plus (“2G+”) system. Clients who have reached the age of 12 years and 2 months must present a certificate of vaccination or recovery and either perform a self-diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 on site or present a valid NAAT or certified SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test.The test is not mandatory for people who completed their vaccination pattern less than 180 days ago, for people who have received their “booster” dose and for people with a recovery certificate. This applies to both indoor and outdoor use.
    The only exception is for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. To gain access to a restaurant, bar or café, they must present a certificate of contraindication to vaccination, as well as a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR, certified antigen test or self-test performed on the premises).

  • Cultural institutions: The cultural institutions are open to the public. The rules applicable to these establishments are the subject of specific recommendations and guidelines from the Ministry of Culture.

    The practice of cultural activities is allowed without the obligation of physical distance and wearing a mask, provided that it is carried out individually or in a group of 10 people at most. If there are more than 10 people engaged in a cultural activity at the same time, the CovidCheck system (“2G+”) applies.

Shop owners & tenants

  • No legislation or regulation been passed to suspend payment obligations. The government prefers to provide financial help to debtors rather than imposing payment suspensions.

  • A bill of law tabled by several deputies aims to suspend the obligation to pay rent that is due or will become due under commercial or professional leases for the duration of the state of crisis. This bill of law aims to deprive the lessor of the right of termination with respect to non-payment of rent due or set to fall due during the period of the state of crisis, to establish the possibility for both parties to the lease contract to revise downwards the rent due during the state of crisis or the possibility for the lessor to waive the rent in question. To date, this bill of law is still under discussion by the Chamber of Deputies; however it is likely that it will not be adopted.

Restaurants & Culture

  • Assistance for uncovered costs was initially intended for the tourism, hotel and catering, events, culture and entertainment sectors and for managers of continuing vocational training organisations. It will be allocated in the form of monthly capital grants calculated on the basis of uncovered costs to companies which, during all or part of the period between 1 November 2020 and 30 March 2021, will have suffered a loss of monthly turnover of at least 40% compared to the corresponding month of the year 2019. The maximum assistance available is 70% of the non-covered eligible costs for medium and large enterprises and 90% of uncovered eligible costs for micro and small businesses. The amount cannot exceed €20,000 per month for a microenterprise, €100,000 per month for a small business and €200,000 per month for a medium or large business.

Netherlands

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks:The face mask rules have been expanded. You are advised to wear a face mask wherever it is difficult to stay 1.5 meters from others. This includes busy outdoor locations, such as shopping streets, and busy indoor locations, such as at work. You are advised to wear disposable face masks, not fabric or homemade face masks.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: All contact-based industries, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, can open to the public from 5 AM to 10 PM.
  • Non-essential shops: Non-essential shops can open to the public from 5 AM to 10 PM.
  • Restaurants: Restaurants, cafés, and bars can open to the public from 5 AM to 10 PM. Please note that the EUDCC is required the locations, except for takeaway.
  • Cultural institutions:

    All recreational locations (included casinos), cultural venues and sports facilities can open to the public from 5 AM to 10 PM. Please note that the EUDCC is required to access the locations.

    Cultural activities (such as music and dance lessons) are permitted. No time restrictions apply. Performing for audiences is not allowed yet.

    People below 18 years are exempt from the EUDCC requirements for:

    • Indoor sport venues, including gyms and swimming pools
    • Sports clubhouses
    • Artistic and cultural activities, such as music and painting lessons and singing, dance and theatre rehearsals.

Shop owners & tenants

  • TVL Stock Support Closed Retail: retail businesses that have had to close their doors during the lockdown of 15 December – 19 January, and that have applied for TVL, will receive a supplement for the stock they have been unable to sell.

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • The government allots €454 million to providing extra support for cultural organisations and events.
  • There are several economic support measures in place for businesses affected by the corona crisis. Measures such as NOW, Tozo and TVL will continue to be expanded and amended as seen fit by the government. Businesses and self-employed professionals who have been hit hard by the recent measures will continue to receive support.
  • NOW3: Employers with more than 20% turnover loss can apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment to receive compensation of their employees’ wages from October 2020 – July 2021.
    Tozo3 and 4: Self-employed professionals can apply for Tozo, the temporary benefit to bridge the loss of income over the months October 2020 – July 2021 in the municipality where they live. Check with your municipality how to apply.
    TVL: The Reimbursement Fixed Costs Scheme for SMEs and self-employed professionals aims to compensate SMEs for fixed costs other than wage costs.
  • On 16 March 2021, the Commission validated subsequent modifications to a scheme aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. The measure originally addressed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that lost at least 30% of their turnover in the period from January to March 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. Following the amendment, the measure will (i) be extended to large enterprises and (ii) its overall budget will increase of around €2 billion (the original budget of that sub-measure was estimated at €970 million). In particular, the beneficiaries will be eligible to receive support ranging from a minimum of €1500 to a maximum of €600,000 for large enterprises and €550,000 for SMEs.
  • On 30 April, the European Commission approved a €40 million Dutch scheme providing soft bridge loans with subsidised interest rates to start-ups affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure is open to small and medium-sized enterprises registered as start-ups in the first two quarters of 2020 and active in all sectors, except the financial, primary agricultural production, fisheries, and aquaculture sectors. It will be managed by Qredits, a non-profit microcredit provider, on behalf of the Dutch State. The scheme complements previous measures, by specifically addressing liquidity constraints of young start-ups affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with the aim to preserve the continuity of economic activities during and after the outbreak.

Poland

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Services: Hair-salons and beauticians are open and operate under a strict sanitary regime.

    Sanatoriums, health resorts and rehabilitation centres can only welcome hodlers of a negative result to a COVID-19 test, performed no earlier than 4 days before.

  • Non-essential shops: Shopping centres and retail stores are open. A strict sanitary regime is in place and customer capacity is limited (1 customer per 15 square metres). People who hold an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (or equivalent documents) are not included in this limit. Access can be denied to people who do not hold an EUDCC.
  • Restaurants: Catering establishments (including hotels’ restaurants) operate under a strict sanitary regime at no more than 30% occupancy. A minimum distance of 1,5 metres has to be maintained between tables (unless there is a screen between them with a height of at least 1 metre, counting from the table surface). People who hold an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (or equivalent documents) are not included in this limit. Access can be denied to people who do not hold an EUDCC.
  • Cultural institutions: Night clubs, discos and other dancing venues are closed.

    Selling and consuming food and drinks in cinemas, theatres, concert halls and other entertainment venues is allowed.

Shop owners & tenants

  • During the period of prohibition of certain activities in shopping centers of more than 2,000 sqm of sales area (which was in place at the beginning of the pandemic and again starting from November 7, 2020), the mutual rights and obligations of the tenants and landlords affected by such prohibitions expired (which in particular means that no rents are payable during that period).
  • Until June 30, 2020, the landlord could not terminate a lease or a rent amount under the lease, except if the tenant violated the provisions on permitted use or the building in which the premises are located has to be demolished or renovated.

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

The anti-crisis shield 4.0 was signed by the President on 23 June. The main purpose of the act is to protect Polish enterprises, jobs and consumers against the negative effects of COVID-19. The new act includes the following updates:

  • Temporary, increased protection of Polish companies against hostile takeovers by investors from outside Europe and OECD
  • Financial support for local governments between June and December 2020 (for example relaxation of fiscal rules, doubling of the shares of counties (powiaty) in revenues from the state treasury companies)

From Nov 6th, fiscal stimulus aimed at supporting covid-impacted businesses proposes to co-finance 70% of fixed costs not covered by revenue, and subsidies to leasing costs and business.

More information can be accessed here:
https://polen.um.dk/da/eksportraadet/coronavirus-and-the-economy/

Poland announced its Financial Shield 2.0 stimulus package in late 2020, estimated to be between 35 billion and 40 billion Polish Zloty (between 9 billion and 10.5 billion U.S. dollars), aimed to help 40 sectors particularly impacted by the second wave of the COVID-19. Businesses active in, among others, transport, retail, tourism and gastronomy, can apply for funds needed to pay employees and avoid bankruptcy.

On 11 March 2021, European Commission approved a €1.1 billion Polish scheme to support companies in various sectors affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme will apply to the whole territory of the Poland and consists of four measures. In particular:
– The second measure, with an estimated budget of €215 million (PLN 964 million), will be open to SMEs and large companies active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of direct grants of up to €928 (PLN 4,160) per beneficiary that experienced a decrease in operating income of at least 40% compared to a reference period set out in the scheme.
– The third measure, with an estimated budget of €300 million (PLN 1.4 billion), will be open to micro and small entrepreneurs active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of direct grants of up to €1,116 (PLN 5,000) per beneficiary;
– The fourth measure, with an estimated budget of €400 million (PLN 1.9 billion), will be open to SMEs and large companies active in several sectors, such as retail sale, restaurants and entertainment. The aid will take the form of exemptions from social security contributions between 1 December 2020 or 1 January 2021 and 31 January 2021 for beneficiaries that experienced a decrease in operating income of at least 40% compared to a reference period set out in the scheme.

On 18 January 2022, the European Commission has granted €136 million to support six Polish regions in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and to support their digital and green transition. More info: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_366

Portugal

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all closed spaces.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: A negative test result, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or a certificate of the booster vaccine dose is required to access health facilities and nursing home when visiting patients.
  • Non-essential shops: Capacity in commercial establishments is reduced to 1 person per 5 square metres.
  • Restaurants: Holding an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC – with proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative result to a molecular or rapid antigen test), or proof of full vaccination, or a negative test result is required to access restaurants.

    A negative test result, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or a certificate of the booster vaccine dose (valid after 14 days) is required to access bars and clubs.

  • Cultural institutions: Holding an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC – with proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative result to a molecular or rapid antigen test), or proof of full vaccination, or a negative test result is required to access cultural shows and events with reserved seats.

Shop owners & tenants

  • Suspension of rents for vulnerable households and cash-strapped small firms during the coronavirus outbreak. The measure suspends rents until a month after the state of emergency ends. After that, renters are expected to repay what they owe in monthly installments for up to a year.

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A
  • Council of Ministers’ decision no. 41/2020 sets up the Program for economic and social stabilisation (“Programa de Estabilização Económica e Social” or “PEES”). Measures include exemptions and reductions of employer’s Social Security contributions, simplifications of public administration procedures or payment in instalments of tax and Social Security debts.
  • On 02.03.2021, the European Commission approved the €15 million Portuguese scheme to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with head offices or permanent establishments in the region of the Azores. The scheme, called ‘Apoiar.PT Açores –4ºT 2020′, will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will be open to companies that have experienced a 25% fall in turnover in the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The aid will correspond to 20% of the lost turnover, with a maximum amount of €5,000 for micro companies, €20,000 for small companies and €50,000 for medium-sized ones. Micro and small companies active in certain specific sectors and which declare a turnover decline of more than 50% will receive direct grants equal to 40% of the fall in turnover, with a maximum aid amount of €12,000 for micro-companies and €48,000 for small ones.
  • On the 31.03.21, Commission approved the €500 million Portuguese top-up insurance scheme to support domestic trade credit. Trade credit insurance protects companies supplying goods and services against the risk of non-payment by their clients. In Portugal, given the uncertainties caused by the prolonged economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, private insurers became more reluctant to offer sufficient insurance coverage to sellers. By supplementing the private insurance cover, the Portuguese scheme ensures that trade credit insurance continues to be available to all companies, avoiding the need for buyers of goods or services to pay in advance, therefore reducing their immediate liquidity needs.

  • On the 06.04.21, Commission approved the €35 million Portuguese scheme to support companies in Azores region. Under the scheme, the public support will take the form of direct grants. The scheme will be open to companies of all sizes active in the Azores, at the condition that they have maintained jobs in the region and that they have paid back the loans they previously received under the schemes that the Commission approved in April 2020 and December 2020. More specifically, the aid will only be granted if the applicant can prove that it has maintained, each month until 30 June 2021, a certain proportion of the level of employment compared to the one recorded in September 2020. The maximum amount of the aid shall not exceed the lower of the following two limits: (i) €750,000 per individual company or €1 million per group of companies belonging to the same group; and (ii) the amount of the loans received from the existing credit lines.

Romania

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: The use of FFP2 or surgical facemasks is mandatory in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including in the streets, on public transport and at the workplace. Facemasks made of other materials (textiles, plastic etc.) are prohibited.
  • Curfew: A curfew between 10pm and 5am is in place. Exemptions:
    • Holders of an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC), or equivalent document, certifying full vaccination (completed at least 10 days before) or recovery from COVID-19 (valid between 15 and 180 days after the infection).
    • People moving for professional reasons (going from home to the place of work and back). Supporting documents and a declaration of honour, filled in in advance, are required.
    • People moving for medical reasons that cannot be postponed or carried out remotely, including the purchase of medicines. A declaration of honour, filled in in advance, is required.
    • People who are travelling; supporting documents (tickets, payments etc.) and a declaration of honour, filled in in advance, are required.
    • People moving for justified reasons, such as vaccinations, childcare, assisting the elderly / sick or people with disabilities, death of a family member. A declaration of honour, filled in in advance, is required.
    • People leaving their home because of a serious or imminent danger. They must call the national emergency number 112.

    .

  • Services: Open with limitations
  • Non-essential shops: Between 22.00 and 5.00shops are closed and can only provide home deliveries.

    Only holders of a valid EUDCC (or equivalent document) can access shopping centres and grocery stores larger than 200 square metres.

    Exceptions: pharmacies, petrol stations, home delivery services and road trasport companies can carry out their activities under normal working conditions, in compliance with the health measures.

  • Restaurants: Restaurants, cafes, and all permanent and temporary catering establishments, including those inside hotels or other accommodtion establishments and terraces:
    • Can only host customers who hold an ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (or equivalent document) certifying full vaccination (completed at least 10 days before) or recovery from COVID-19 (valid between 15 and 180 days after the infection).
    • Are closed between 9pm and 5am. Hnly home delivery services are allowed during these hours.
    • Can operate up to 50% of capacity during opening hours (5am – 9 pm).
    • The consumption of food and beverages should take place in dedicated open-air premises, outside buildings.
  • Cultural institutions:

    Bars, clubs and discos are closed.

    The following establishments and activities can only operate between 5.00 and 22.00, at 50% or 30% capacity depending on the local incidence rate, and only holders of a valid EUDCC (or equivalent document) can access:

    • Museums, libraries, bookstores.
    • Cinemas, film and audio-visual production studios.
    • Shows, concerts, festivals. Depending on the local incidence rate, maximum 1,000 or 500 people can participate. Wearing facemasks and ensuring 4 square metres per person is compulsory.
    • Sports events, competitions and activities. Wearing facemasks and ensuring 2 square metres per person is compulsory.
    • Gyms and fitness centres; indoor swimming pools. Wearing facemasks and ensuring 2 square metres per person is compulsory in gyms and fitness centres.
    • Gaming and gambling establishments.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

A state aid scheme aimed to support retailers was submitted to the European Commission for approval, proposing a grant for 50% of the rent due between mid-March and mid-June 2020 (the first wave lockdown)

On 18 January 2022, the European Commission has granted €136 million to support six Polish regions in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and to support their digital and green transition. More info: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_366

Serbia

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks are mandatory on public transit.
  • Curfew: N/A

Following the recommendation of the Government of Serbia, the following additional measures are in effect:

    • Cafes, bars, and restaurants may now operate outdoor facilities with no closing time.  Indoor facilities may operate until 1:00 a.m.  Music is now allowed.
    • All retail stores may remain open 24 hours, seven days a week.
    • All operating facilities must provide a minimum of 9 m2 per person. Exceptions are fitness centers, spa centers, gyms, and similar facilities which must provide 16 m2 per person.  This number includes the staff at these businesses.
    • Up to 500 people are allowed to meet indoors or outdoors.
    • Sports events may have spectators of up to 50% capacity in outdoor stadiums or 30% capacity in indoor arenas.
    • Events expecting over 500 people must get permission from the Crisis Response Team.
    • Recreational classes and excursions may take place with consent from the Ministry of Education an competent institutions.

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

Slovakia

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: There are four different regimes based on vaccination:

    1. Basic (all persons);

    2. OTP (vaccinated, tested, recovered);

    3. OP (vaccination/primary series, recovered/maximum 180 days after recovery);

    4. OP+ (vaccinated with a booster, primary vaccination series + test; primary vaccination series + recovery/maximum 180 days after recovery).

    All non-essential shops and services are open. The regime they operate under depends on the degree of risk involved in the types of services they provide.

  • Face Masks: Wearing face masks and respirators is mandatory indoors, including in schools and outdoors where distancing is less than 2 meters. There are exceptions for staff taking care of children and pupils with impairments, autism spectrum disorders, mental disabilities and other disabilities.
     
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Personal care businesses are open for vaccinated and recovered persons under the OP regime.

    Fitness facilities, wellness centres and swimming pools are open under the OP+ regime (vaccinated/booster, primary vaccination series + test, primary vaccination series + recovery/maximum 180 days after recovery).

  • Non-essential shops: Open for everyone.
  • Restaurants: Catering establishments are open. They operate under strict limits for the vaccinated from 5:00 until 10:00 (OP regime). 

    Take-away businesses are open for the unvaccinated.

  • Cultural institutions: Museums, galleries and exhibition halls are open. They operate under strict limits for vaccinated and recovered persons (OP regime).

    Cinemas, theatres and other cultural facilities are also open (under the rules of the OP regime). 

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A
  • Employers (including self-employed persons employing others) who had to close their operations due to the decision of the Slovak Public Health Authority may apply for a contribution to the wage compensation of their employees. The amount of the contribution is 80% of the total price of work, up to EUR 1100.
  • Employers (including self-employed persons employing others) who retain jobs even in the event of interruption or limitation of their activities during a declared emergency situation may apply for a contribution to the wage of their employees. The contribution can be provided either in the form of an employee’s wage compensation of up to 80% of the total price of work, up to EUR 1100, or as a lump-sum allowance to cover part of the wage costs for each employee (EUR 270 – 810). The employer can choose only one of the options for the whole period of the contribution.

Spain

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face Masks: Wearing facemasks is compulsory in public spaces indoors and outdoors. They are also mandatory on all means of public transport, as well as in private vehicles if the occupants do not live together at the same address.

    Exemptions:

    • children younger than 6
    • people with disabilities or respiratory conditions
    • during sports activities or in natural spaces (countryside, beaches) if a distance of 1.5 m is respected.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Small businesses (as hairdressers) are open. The use of a facemask is mandatory. 
  • Non-essential shops: Shops must ensure that disinfection measures and social distancing are applied. Special attention is required in commercial areas and street markets. Specific territorial regulations might be in place – please, consult the relevant webpages.
  • Restaurants: Autonomous Communities are the competent authorities regulating access to these places, and the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (or equivalent) could be required to access indoors bars and clubs. Please, consult the relevant webpages.
  • Cultural institutions: Specific territorial regulations might be in place – please, consult the relevant webpages.

    Routes will be designed to facilitate social distancing and the use of outdoor spaces is encouraged. The use of a facemask is mandatory.

Shop owners & tenants

At local level in Catalonia :

  • Trade aid plan – Consorcio de Comercio, Artesanía y Moda de Catalunya, with a total of 7 lines of aid to help mitigate the crisis caused by Covid-19, 5 of them related to commerce below.
  • Support program for representative entities of the commercial sector: support for the most representative entities of the commercial sector that have a proven territorial representation or entities that group multisectoral entrepreneurs.
  • Support program for the associative network of commerce, crafts and fashion: promoting the Support Program for associations defined in the framework of the 20/21 Commerce Agenda, responding to the COVID-19 health crisis in the commerce, crafts and fashion in Catalonia.
  • Support program for municipalities in the field of commerce and crafts: In the field of commerce, creation of a Plan for the occupation of empty premises and the Program to promote areas of special interest, to achieve the opening of empty premises in defined and determined areas, stimulate trade and attract commercial supply.
  • Program for the reactivation of commerce: with the aim of reactivating commerce in the face of the effects caused by the declaration of the state of alarm on March 14, subsidies were provided for self-employed professionals and companies of retail trade and services of establishments at the foot of street and municipal market stalls.
  • Investment support program for the new establishment of businesses and commercial improvement of establishments: support to boost commerce through recovery projects for empty premises located in the consolidated urban fabric of municipalities or in historic neighborhoods, and for reduce the number of trips within towns and cities by installing collection systems in establishments (“Click & Collect”)

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A

Actions at national level

Tax on Digital Services

  • The Tax on Certain Digital Services, approved by the Government and the Courts, levies the provision of certain digital services. Specifically, these are digital services in relation to which there is a user participation that constitutes a contribution to the value creation process of the company that provides the services, and through which the company monetizes those user contributions.
  • The tax rate is 3% and is applied to three concepts: the provision of online advertising services; online intermediation services; and the sale of data generated from information provided by the user.
  • The sale of goods or services between users in the framework of an online intermediation service is excluded; and the sales of goods or services contracted online through the website of the supplier of those goods or services in which the supplier does not act as an intermediary.

The General State Budget project announces the “Selective control and investigation actions” in relation to electronic commerce

  • The logistics activities linked to electronic commerce are interesting both for their taxation and to the extent that they serve as catalysts for the activity of other national operators that, from these platforms, achieve large commercial penetrations, not always accompanied by correct taxation, for which is necessary to carry out the corresponding control actions.
On the 19.02.2021, European Commission approved the modification of the existing Spanish ‘umbrella’ scheme to support the economy. Spain notified the following modifications to the scheme: (i) an amendment that allows the provision of limited amounts of aid through financial intermediaries; and (ii) a new measure to support the uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Under the new measure, the public support will take the form of direct grants, tax and payment advantages, repayable advances, guarantees, loans and equity. The measure will be accessible to companies of all sizes active in all sectors, excluding the financial one. 
 

Actions at the local level (specific for Barcelona city)

“Amazon” rate in Barcelona (pending on processing and approval)

  • The Barcelona City Council has recently stated that it wants to introduce a tax on those electronic commerce platforms that operate in Barcelona without, in its opinion, paying taxes to the city. The Consistory is preparing a preliminary report that would tax said platforms by occupation of public space. The main target seems to be Amazon, but naturally it would also affect other e-commerce platforms. In addition, there is a clear majority in the plenary session of the Barcelona City Council for a proposal of these characteristics to prosper.

New amendments to financial support measures to address companies’ liquidity requirements were published on 13 May 2021:

  • Extension of the deadline to request a public guarantee scheme: The deadline to apply for a public guarantee scheme has been extended until 1 December 2021. The previous deadline was set for 15 May 2021.
  • Code of Good Practice: extension, conversion into PPL and write offs: A Code of Good Practice has been set up in relation to the renegotiation of financings granted under a public guarantee scheme (‘the Code’). The Code includes three main measures: extension of the maturity date; conversion into a profit participating loan (PPL); and write offs. The three measures are at the request of the debtor, but only the extension is compulsory for the lenders. The costs of the financings affected by the measures can only be increased to reflect any increase in the guarantee fees applicable to the extensions. Debtors that benefit from the measures of the Code must assume the following commitments: to maintain the business activity related to the aid granted until 30 June 2022; not to pay dividends during 2021 and 2022; and not to increase senior management remuneration for a period of two years from the application of any of these measures. Additionally, credit institutions, financial credit establishments, electronic money institutions and payment institutions cannot reduce the maximum amount of working capital lines granted to debtors that benefit from one or more of the measures of the Code until at least 31 December 2022.

On 9 December 2021, the European Commission approves €3 billion scheme under the Spanish Recovery and Resilience Plan to support research, development, innovation, environmental protection and energy efficiency in automotive value chain.

Sweden

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General: 

    Important: In Sweden, the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) is required to access the following public spaces:

    • Cinemas
    • Theatres
    • Concerts

    If there are less than 100 people.

  • Face Masks: No general requirement to wear in public places
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Services: Personal care services are open without restrictions.
  • Non-essential shops: Most shops and stores are open without significant restrictions.
  • Restaurants: Open with limitations: 
    • The size of parties is limited to eight people.
    • Guests must be seated, with at least one meter between the groups.
    • Venues must close no later than 11 PM.
  • Cultural institutions: If there are less than 100 people, the EUDCC is required.

Shop owners & tenants

  • A rent support system has been set up, with the lessor for 50% of the reduction granted (up to a limit of 25% of the initial total rent), for sectors identified as affected by health measures (restaurants, shops, health, welfare, etc.), for an amount less than or equal to 800,000 euros per lessor. This aid is thus conditional on the lessor’s consent to a reduction in the rent.
  • On the 06.04.21, Commission approved modification of Swedish rent rebate scheme to support sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak. The existing scheme was approved by the Commission on 15 April 2020 and prolonged in February 2021. Sweden notified the following modifications to the scheme: (i) an increase in the budget, from approximately €453 million (SEK 5 billion) to approximately €795 million (SEK 8 billion); and (ii) the extension of the measure to cover up to 50% of rent reductions costs negotiated between landlords and tenants until 31 May 2021, for the rental period between 1 January and 31 March 2021.

Restaurants

  • Business subsidy-schemes such as short-term layoffs and revenue support have been put in place.

  • Short-term layoff schemes will continue to at least June 2021.

Culture

  • N/A
  • On the 12.02.2021, Commission approved an approximately €1.4 billion Swedish scheme to support the uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak (except the financial sector). The scheme covers three eligible periods: August–October 2020, November–December 2020, and January–February 2021. The aid will be granted to companies that suffered a turnover decline exceeding 40% in the period August-October 2020 or 30% in each of the periods November-December 2020 and January-February 2021, compared to the same periods in 2019. The beneficiaries will receive grants covering up to 70% of their uncovered fixed costs during the eligible periods. In the case of micro and small enterprises, the grants will cover up to 75% of the uncovered fixed costs with regard to the period August-October 2020, or 90% in the other periods.
  • Some liquidity supports are also prolonged (postponement of tax payments)
  • Ability to put staff on partial activation is prolonged and can be used up to 80%. This has limited impact for retail since business is still in operation.
  • On the 07.12.2021, the European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €133 million (SEK 1,370 million) Swedish scheme to support the rail freight sector and the rail passenger sector in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.

Turkey

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face masks: The wearing of masks is mandatory in public transport.
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Non-essential shops: Grocery and other food-related shops are open normal operation hours.
  • Restaurants: Dining establishments such as restaurants, patisseries, cafés, and cafeterias will be open for in-person dining and delivery services with no restrictions.
  • Other establishments: Most services are available in Turkey without restrictions.  Starting September 6, 2021 proof of vaccination or a negative PRC test within the past 48 hours will be required to enter some establishments hosting crowded events such as theaters or cinemas. This requirement applies to individuals 18 years old and older including foreign nationals with Turkish residency.  Individuals who fail to provide the necessary documentation will not be permitted to enter into these venues or participate in crowded events. 

Shop owners & tenants

  • N/A

Restaurants

  • N/A

Culture

  • N/A
  • Companies with cash flow disruptions can delay payment of principal and interest on their bank loan for at least 3 months and additional financial support will be offered if necessary. Craftsmen and related workers financed by the public bank Halkbank and whose activity is very slowed down can defer the payment of principal and interest on their loans for the months of April, May and June for 3 months and without interest. The three public banks Ziraat, Halk and Vakif have announced measures allowing companies and individuals to defer the repayment of their loan instalments (principal and interest). Employers will also be able to benefit from an increase in their loan limit, up to 3 months of salary payments to their employees, provided that they do not lay off their staff.
  • Limit of the Credit Guarantee Fund (Kredi Garanti Fonu) increased from TRY 25bn (EUR 3bn) to TRY 50bn (EUR 7bn). Companies and SMEs that have liquidity needs and do not benefit from loan guarantees because of the current situation will be given priority to benefit from the interventions of this fund. An omnibus law provides that the TFV Sovereign Fund may buy or take stakes in strategic companies in difficulty due to the health situation. Revision of the SME support scheme of the KOSGEB (the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Agency). A three-month deferral of the repayment of loans granted to some 136,000 SMEs under the KOSGEB support programmes (TRY 713 million or almost EUR 100 million). The deferral will be made automatically, without the need to apply for it. Repayments may also be deferred in the event that the crisis situation continues.
  • Turkey revealed on April 29 a new TL 5 billion ($604 million) support package to cushion the effects of its latest and strictest lockdown to date on the economy. It is primarily aimed at providing financial support to small and medium-scale enterprises whose businesses are severely harmed by the restrictions. Details of the package were announced by President Erdogan when he attended a factory opening in the capital Ankara. Erdogan said the country is launching the new support program through the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB). “It is aimed at micro and small-scale enterprises that have lost income and needed to maintain employment with disrupted cash flow,” he said. As part of the support package, up to TL 30,000 will be allocated for micro-enterprises and up to TL 75,000 for small-scale businesses. Those that benefit from this support can use it for three years without any repayment or interest. The country has also extended a ban on layoffs until the end of June, the president reiterated, while also maintaining short-term work allowances.

UK

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • General remarks: The last week has seen restrictions eased in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information on each region, please visit: https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-52530518

  • Face Masks: People in England are no longer legally required to wear face masks in almost all public spaces, although they are still recommended in some settings. 
  • In Scotland, adults participating in organised activities with under-fives no longer need a mask but face covering exemptions requiring two-metre physical distancing have been reduced to one metre.
  • In Wales, compulsory face coverings in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals
  • In Northern Ireland,  face coverings compulsory in shops, indoor-seated venues and visitor attractions, public transport and some other settings
  • Curfew: N/A
  • Non-essential shops: Shops and businesses need to take measures to limit the spread of Covid
  • Restaurants: Open with restrictions. 
  • Cultural institutions: Covid passes are no longer compulsory at venues and events and night clubs are open. 

Shop owners & tenants

Restaurants

  • £11.8 billion for a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses.

Culture

  • £0.27 billion in loan support for the cultural sector
  • Government loans and grants: measures in support of payment of employees, taxed, business rates relief, support for small, medium and large businesses; VAT deferral.
  • A previously announced emergency help for the economy worth £280 billion, including a massive job protection scheme that will run until the end of April.
  • On 5 January 2021, the British government offered a £4,6 billion support package for businesses.

UKRAINE

Last updated on 28/01/2022

  • Face Masks: Wearing masks are mandatory on public transportation and indoor public places. 
  • Curfew: N/A

Services: It is allowed to provide medical care: during childbirth, patients with cancer, palliative care in hospital, other urgent measures of hospitalization and scheduled operations, if in a result of their rescheduling there is a significant risk to life.
Non-essential shops:
Visitors are to wear masks in the shopping place. Temperature screening is carried out.
Restaurants: Only the outdoor terraces are allowed to be opened. The decision on the opening and closing of cafes adopts by local authorities. That is why rules of visiting vary from region to region.
Cultural institutions: For sports clubs: the number of visitors should not exceed 1 person per 10 sq m in individual workout, and 5 sq m per person during team workouts (but up to 10 people in a group).

Shop owners & tenants

  • If leased premises cannot be used or utilized at all due to COVID-19 circumstances, the tenant does not have to pay rent for the duration and to the extent to which the premises is unable to be used, but such circumstances should be fixed between the tenant and landlord.

Restaurants

  • The same as for the shop owners and tenants

Culture

  • The same as for the shop owners and tenants

There is minor financial help that is put in place for the entrepreneurs, which were mostly affected by the COVID-19 circumstances. 

On 24 January 2022, President von der Leyen made a statement on EU financial support for Ukraine. In fact, the EU has already provided significant assistance to Ukraine, both to support the country’s resilience and modernisation, and specifically to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.Full version, see here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/STATEMENT_22_545 

ECSP strives to ensure all information on its website is accurate and up to date. However, the content of this website is naturally subject to change from time to time. Therefore, we cannot always guarantee the accuracy of all information on this page. Users are responsible for checking the accuracy of facts and opinions given on ECSP’s website before entering into any commitment based upon them.

If you notice inaccuracies on the measures indicated, or if you would like to share further information with ECSP, please contact info@ecsp.eu