Compensation Bonus And Subsidy Programs To Be Extended
The final details of the anti-epidemic measures to remain in place after Monday, May 10th, were approved by the government at a meeting yesterday. The government also approved an extension to the compensation bonus and the subsidy programs for businesses and sole traders. Photo Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., May 7 (BD) – At a meeting on Thursday, the government finalised details of the next round of opening to apply from Monday, May 10th. Museums, galleries, castles, chateaux and other buildings will be opened, exhibitions and trade fairs will be allowed to take place, and all other changes approved by the government on Monday will apply nationwide. Although it was initially thought that the changes would not yet apply in the South Bohemian, Zlín, and Vysočina regions, the improvement of the epidemic situation has enabled the relaxation of measures in those regions as well.
In addition to the changes already announced, the government approved other adjustments to the anti-epidemic measures, effective from Monday. In company and other non-public catering facilities, the obligation for only one person per table will end, and for longer tables there must be mechanical barriers between people to prevent the spreading of droplets. For hobby groups and similar activities, the number of people allowed will increase from 20 to 30, and children under the age of six will generally be exempt from obligations to take mandatory covid-19 tests.
At the same meeting, the government approved an extension of “Covid 2021” and “Covid: Uncovered Costs”, the subsidy programs for businesses and sole traders covering any company, including industrial firms, which have had to close or seen a decrease in sales of more than 50%.
The period for which businesses can receive a subsidy via the Covid 2021 program has been extended from March 31st to May 9th. In these months, companies affected by the pandemic are eligible for support of CZK 500 per employee per day. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has so far received 11,378 applications for the Covid 2021 program, totalling more than CZK 3 billion. Applications can be submitted until June 2nd, 2021.
The Covid: Uncovered Costs program, an alternative to Covid 2021, has been extended by two months, from April 1st to May 31st. There have been 869 applications for the Covid: Uncovered Costs program, totalling CZK 872 million. More details about these programs are available here.
The government also decided to extend the compensatory bonus until the end of May, to support the self-employed, partners in small limited liability companies, and contractors. The parameters are fixed by law and the government can only extend the measure by a government decree. The bonus is CZK 1,000 per day for sole traders and partners of small limited liability companies, CZK 500 a day for contractors, and a special compensation of CZK 500 a day for those covered by the bonus who are required to quarantine.
“I am glad that the health situation is allowing the gradual opening of closed establishments, which is what tradespeople and businesses are calling for most. And this has allowed them to do business again. However, the return to normal is not immediate and many of them still have a significant decline in sales compared to normal. It is therefore right that, if they meet the legal conditions, they should be entitled to a compensation bonus for May as well. The Financial Administration will start accepting applications for the next period from Monday, May 10th,” said Finance Minister Alena Schillerová.
By the end of April, the Financial Administration had already processed 328,000 applications for the new compensation bonus, for CZK 8 billion. In total, the Financial Administration has paid out more than CZK 37 billion as part of the compensation bonus.
Meanwhile, the government has set aside up to CZK 5.75 billion from the Funds for Business Support for a contribution to municipalities and regions, to mitigate the effects of the Compensation Bonus Act for 2021. More details are provided by the Ministry of Finance.
In connection with the new changes in schools and kindergartens, the government has also agreed to use up to CZK 100 million to cover costs related to school activities, with an extraordinary measure of the Ministry of Health ordering comprehensive and regular testing of children, pupils, students, and employees of kindergartens, primary, secondary and higher vocational schools. The funds will be provided by the Ministry of Education to the schools that guarantee PCR tests for pupils and employees, with reimbursement of CZK 200 per person.
“The Ministry of Education currently has CZK 100 million allocated to support PCR testing in schools and to compensate the unit price of CZK 200 for each PCR test performed at our schools”, said Education Minister Robert Plaga.
At the same time, the government has accepted a donation from the Kaufland supermarket chain, who have provided 300,000 sets of antigen tests for self-testing to help the Czech education system cover the temporary shortage of antigen tests. The ministry will send these tests free of charge to schools reporting that they do not have enough.
The government has also amended an emergency measure regulating the quarantine and isolation conditions of those infected with coronavirus or who have come into contact with them. The obligation to self-isolate for 14 days with a PCR test at the end has been extended not only to those at risk of the South African mutation but also to anyone who has come into contact with the Brazilian and Indian mutations.