COVID-19 CEE Legislation Tracker: Highlights from Calendar Week 22

25 May 2020 | newsletters

In this article we provide an overview of the most recent Covid-19 legal developments across CEE. We are constantly monitoring the laws for updates. For a detailed overview, please take a look at the comprehensive cee legislation trackers.

Find updates for:

 


Austria 

Financial Support Measures
(for an overview, check out our legal insight)

Hardship Fund

  • 27/05: The Minister of Finance announced the extension of the application period from 3 months to 6 months, the introduction of EUR 500 minimum threshold that is paid out and a comeback bonus of up to EUR 3,000. In total the maximum amount paid out can be up to EUR 15,000.

Corona Relief Fund (for more details check out our legal insight)

  • 25/05: guideline for grants for fixed costs effective as of 26/05 (find the version published in the Federal law Gazette here).
  • 23/05: EU Commission greenlights Austrian scheme allowing grants for fixed costs (find more info here and here).

SME Support by AWS and ÖHT

  • 27/05: The Minister of Tourism announced a "New Start Bonus" programme for tourism to be launched in June. 

Banking & Finance

  • 26/05: OeKB – credit funds program extended to EUR 3 billion for Austrian based export companies.

Banking & Finance and other support measures

  • 28/05: support fund program announced for artists - grants amounting up to EUR 1000,- over a maximum of 6 months.

For the full overview of the Austrian legislation, please see the Austrian legislation tracker.

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Czech Republic 

Financial Support Measures

 

25/05: Statutory moratorium on commercial loans 

  • The Czech National Bank published its Q&As containing details on the procedure, scope and other requirements for the use of the credit moratorium. The document is available in Czech language only under this link.

22/05: Interest-free state loans and guarantees

  • Entrepreneurs will be entitled to COVID-Lease state support focusing on compensations of commercial leases. Those businesses affected by the COVID pandemic and by the adopted restrictive measures would be able to apply for the state support amounting to the half of the lease for their premises from 1 April to 30 June 2020 up to CZK 10m. However, the condition is that the landlord agrees to discount 30 % from the lease, i.e. 50 % of the lease will be paid for by the state, 30 % by the landlord and 20 % by the business. Where the state acts as the lessor, the lessees will obtain 80 % discount automatically.

Healthcare 

25/05:

  • Restaurants may open inside and their gardens and outside eating spaces under certain conditions, such as  minimum distance 1.5  meters between customers, hand sanitizer provided at the entrance, chairs are cleaned and disinfected before each new group of customers, take out window must be cleaned and sterilized every two hours etc.  
  • Museums galleries and similar establishments may be opened if certain conditions are met, such as maximum 300 visitors, at most one visitor per 10m2 of customer accessible area, hand sanitizer available at the entrance etc.
  • Theatrical, musical, film and other artistic performances, sports, culture, religious gatherings, traditional dances and similar gatherings, exhibitions, celebrations, vernissages, circuses, tastings, markets, educational gatherings, celebrations and other large gatherings in outside and inside spaces, both public and private, with at most 300 attendees are allowed under certain conditions.
  • Mandatory wearing of facemask everywhere in a public place except for children younger than 2 years and drivers who are alone in the vehicle​ in all buildings, in public transport or in a public place where the distance between people is less then 2 meters.
  • Weddings are allowed with a max of 300 people if certain conditions are met.
  • Religious services with 300 attendees at most are allowed under certain conditions are met.
  • Fitness centres are open, however it is necessary to keep distance of at least two meters, wearing of facemasks and disinfection of the equipment. Dressing rooms and showers in fitness centres are closed.
  • Movement at public places possible maximal 10 persons,  keeping a safe distance of at least 2 meters (does not apply to families, work teams or similar activity).

For the full overview of the Czech legislation, please see the Czech Republic legislation tracker.

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Hungary 

Corporate Law

Update from 29/05: 

  • Corporate changes from 29/05:
    • liquidation procedures may only be initiated if the debt is equal to or above HUF 400,000 (general rule: HUF 200,000);
    • court of registry cannot order the deletion of companies during a review procedure;
    • if the tax authority cancelled the tax number of a company, it cannot take steps for a deletion of a company (general rule: following the cancellation of the tax number, the tax authority in parallel inquires the court of registry to delete the respective company);
    • if the above deletion procedure already started, it is suspended until 31/10;
    • forced deletion procedures are suspended until 31/10;
    • forced deletion procedure may not commence if the winding up procedure has not terminated within 3 years but the company requests the deletion until 31/10 (general rule: if a winding up procedure is not finished within 3 years and the company does not request the deletion thereof within the said time-frame, the court of registry orders a forced deletion procedure).

Healthcare & Life Sciences

26/05: Serbian citizen / Hungarian citizen coming from Serbia to Hungary: allowed to enter from 25/05

25/05: 

  • Austrian citizen / Hungarian citizen coming from Austria to Hungary: allowed with a negative covid-test not older than 4 days (as of 22/05)
  • Slovakian citizen coming from Slovakia to Hungary: allowed to enter for not longer than 24 hours (as of 22/05)
  • as for primary and high schools:
    • 2/06 – 15/06 still digital / home study but small study groups or individual study session may be organized to catch up
    • 2/06 – 26/06 schools to organize custody: day care, study group, sport activity may be organized

21/05: Kindergartens and child nurseries will open again:

  • outside Budapest: from 25 May
  • in Budapest: from 2 June
  • until 31 August kindergartens / child nurseries may close for a maximum of 2 weeks;

Summer camps for children could be organized from 16 June onwards.

Other

Update from 29/05:

  • Budapest from 29/05:
    • restaurants / catering: guest are allowed inside as well but a distance of 1.5 m must be kept + waiters still have to wear masks;
    • hotels: open;
    • open-air playgrounds: open.
  • Open-air events from 28/05:
    • sport events are open for public;
    • other events (theatre, cinema, circus, literature or other cultural event) may be organized;
    • in case there are seats on the open-air event: only every fourth seat could be occupied, seats behind each other cannot be occupied, i.e. a distance of 1.5 m must be kept even if seated;
    • music or dancing events, including festivals cannot be organized;
    • however, drive-in music events (i.e. coming by car, staying in car) could be held between 29/05 and 31/05.
  • Remembrance day of 04/06:
    • commemoration could be held between 03/06 – 07/06 and is open for public;
    • a distance of 1.5 m from each other should preferably be kept.
  • Special rules for travel contracts as of 28/05:
    • applicable if the contract is terminated until 31/08 due to Covid-19 or is terminated referring to legally being impossible to perform;
    • the service provider may issue a voucher to the clients;
    • if not accepted by the client, the client may request a refund instead.
  • Changes re. entering Hungary from Slovenia:
    • Slovenian citizens / Hungarian citizens coming from Slovenia may enter Hungary;
    • EEA citizens having permanent residence in Hungary should be treated the same way as Hungarian citizens.

For the full overview of the Hungarian legislation, please see the Hungarian legislation tracker.

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Poland 

On 28/05 the Monetary Policy Council announced third reduction of the National Bank of Poland's interest rates (effective as of 29/05)

For the full overview of the Polish legislation, please see the Polish legislation tracker.

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Stay tuned: The latest developments will be reflected in next week's article.