COVID-19 CEE Legislation Tracker: Highlights from Calendar Week 23

02 June 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
Hardship Fund

  • 04/06: guideline published by Ministry of Finance re 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; moreover the eligibility criteria are broadened as regards retired persons with marginal employment.

Banking & Finance and other support measures

  • 29/05: proposal regarding the extension of statutory moratorium until 31/10 submitted to the Austrian parliament (find the proposal here). 

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

 

Croatia  

Employment
29/05: 
 Employer's obligations: 27/05 Employers are obliged to prohibit the employees having fever, dry cough and difficulties with breathing from coming to work.

Other
29/05
: Traveling to Croatia

  • 28/05 Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters issued a new decision regarding easing of travel and border restrictions, based on which citizens from 10 EU Member States (Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) can now enter Croatia without restrictions. It is no longer required to provide a "proof" for travel to Croatia (e.g. invitation for business meeting, confirmation of booking for tourists, etc). 
  • Citizens from the above-mentioned 10 EU countries still need to comply with the epidemiological measures and provide certain personal data (destination location, mobile phone and e-mail) at the border. In order to speed-up the collection of these data, it is possible to submit data in advance, before travel to Croatia, via the following link: https://entercroatia.mup.hr/

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

 

Czech Republic  

Employment
03/06
: The duration of the Program “Antivirus” was originally determined for a period from 12/3 till 30/4. The Czech Government repeatedly decided to prolong the Program, currently the Program is extended till the end of August 2020.

Financial Support Measures
01/06
: Interest-free state loans and guarantees

  • COVID III guarantee is intended for the commercial working capital loans provided by certain banks entered into before 31/12. This time, it will be aimed at larger companies with up to 500 employees and up to CZK 50m of the loan principal (guarantee of up to 90 % of the principal for companies with less than 250 employees and 80 % of the principal for companies with 250 to 500 employees). The borrower must not be in arrears with the repayment of the debt to the lending bank for more than 30 days as at 31/03. The commercial loans with COVID III guarantees are planned to reach up to CZK 500bln and should be also available for entrepreneurs located in Prague. The COVID III program is expected to run continuously until the end of 2020. The cooperation agreements between the applicant banks and the CMGDB were signed on 29/05. Banks are expected to start providing commercial loans with a COVID III guarantee shortly after the conclusion of these cooperation agreements. We recommend starting with the negotiation of a loan with your bank as soon as possible even before the official launch of COVID III programme.

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

 

Hungary  

Other

05/06: Austrian, Slovakian and Czech citizens coming from Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic (as well as Hungarian citizens from these countries) may enter Hungary from today (05/06). EEA citizens having permanent domicile in Hungary should be treated the same way.

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

 

Poland  

Other
01/06:
 4th steep of defreezing Polish economy under special sanitary regime:

  • From 30/05: opened restaurants and bars in the hotels.
  • From 1/06: allowed domestic air travel.
  • From 6/06: opened: cinemas, theatres, operas, ballets, massage salons and tattoo parlors, saunas, swimming pools, gyms and other fitness clubs,  amusement park.

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

 

Slovenia  

31/05: State of epidemics effectively revoked / withdrawn. Various measures nevertheless continue in effect.

Financial Support Measures

Other (selected) financial subsidies

  • 01/06 (UL 80): state support to SME in the form of refundable and non-refundable funds for specific purposes (securing continuity of business and liquidity / covering economic fallout in hospitality and tourism industries / for digital transformation etc.). Detailed requirements to be laid out by the program of financial incentives COVID-19 prepared by the Ministry of government.
  • 01/06: EUR 10 million extended to SID Bank for the purposes of financing businesses in the road transport industry.

Employment

01/06: Subsidies available to employers between 01/06/2020 and 31/12/2020

  • 01/06 (UL 80): two alternative mechanisms available to employers: (i) fiscal reimbursement of salary compensation paid to workers waiting for work at home (applicable between 01/06/2020 and 30/06/2020); OR (ii) state subsidy for part-time work (applicable between 01/06/2020 and 31/12/2020).
  • Re fiscal reimbursement: employers are entitled to fiscal reimbursement of 80% of amounts paid to / for the employees (i.e. for salary and all social security contributions), but capped at EUR 892.50 per employee. Partial fiscal reimbursement for salaries of employees available to employers who anticipate 10% drop in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019. Satisfaction of conditions subject to review at end of fiscal year (if not satisfied - return obligation).
  • Re part-time work: subsidies available to employers who estimate they will not be able to provide 90% of work to at least 10% of employees working full-time, and will instruct employees to partially work (i.e. part-time work), partially wait for work at home. Amount of subsidy varies from EUR 488 to EUR 112 per employee, depending on working hours of the employee. Ban on employers who apply for subsidy to pay out dividends / management bonuses / purchase own shares in 2020 – or else must return received subsidies in full amount plus default interest.
  • For completness – employers that (A) had ordered their employees to wait for work at home or (B) had employees who were unable to work due to vis major in the period from 13 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 may (still) apply until 30 June 2020 for full fiscal salary reimbursement and other benefits (corresponding to the foregoing period) pursuant to the previous anti-corona relief package.   

Real Estate

Shops & restaurants, retail and other

  • 01/06 (UL 78): temporary restrictions / lockdown generally lifted on all retail services (including hotels and wellness centres) except night clubs / discotheques. Provision of services allowed on the condition of minimum contact with the consumers and in line with guidelines of (and in compliance with other safety recommendations adopted by) the NIJZ and the Ministry of Health (see 8.1 below)

Construction

  • 01/06 (UL 80): A special law adopted to promote implementation of key infrastructure investments. These will be determined by the government on the basis of statutory criteria (eg. value exceeding EUR 5 million / specific strategy areas such as energy, infrastructure etc.). Key investments will enjoy priority treatment in admin and court proceedings. Additional requirements (eg. applicability of (i) local construction collective bargaining agreement for contractors and (ii) Guidance on the participation of third country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market).

Competition

01/06: Temporary measures lifted. See section 8 (Courts & Authorities), for procedural input.

Courts & Authorities

  • 01/06: temporary measures in court, administrative and other public law matters under the Act on provisional measures for judicial, administrative and other public matters to cope with the spread of infectious disease SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) cease to apply as of 01/06/2020 (ie. where deadlines have been suspended they now continue to run / hearings can be held etc.).
  • 01/06 (UL 80): court holidays in 2020 limited to 01/08-15/08 (default regime 15/07-15/08).

Healthcare

National Institute for Health (NIJZ) recommendations

  • 01/06 (UL 79): mandatory NIJZ measures eg. include wearing of protective masks in certain areas (including closed public spaces where distance below 1.5 meter / in public transport / for persons with respiratory diseases / for workers in health institutions depending on the level of exposure etc.).

Restrictions on public gathering and movement

  • 01/06 (UL 78): Gathering and movement of people in public places generally allowed for up to 200 persons (on the condition of minimum contact between persons can be secured in line with guidelines / recommendations of the National Institute for Health (NIJZ)). Exceptions apply (eg. if other government decrees expressly prohibit specific public gatherings)

Border control / travel restrictions

  • 25/05 (UL 76): Limited border crossings are open for transit. Restrictions apply for non-essential travel. Travelers will as a general rule be placed under 14-day quarantine upon entry to Slovenia (subject to a long list of exceptions – noeg. no quarantine Slovenian nationals / foreigners with residence in Slovenia; passengers in transit etc.)

Intellectual Property

01/06 (UL 80): Temporary measures lifted. See section 8 (Courts & Authorities), for procedural input.

Other
Tourism

  • 01/06 (UL 80): tourist vouchers in the amount of EUR 200 / EUR 50 for adult / minor citizen with permanent residence in Slovenia as of 13 March 2020. Vouchers are transferrable within inner family (up to grandparents – grandchildren level) and can be redeemed for accommodation in hotels, apartment complexes, agritourism farms and similar facilities in Slovenia. Vouchers must be redeemed by 31 December 2020.

Sport events

  • 01/06 (UL 80): for frustrated sport events, organizers may – in lieu of refund - offer consumers vouchers in equivalent amount that can be redeemed within 24 months

Promotion of investments

  • 01/06 (UL 80): relaxed criteria for awarding state support under the Investment Promotion Act (eg. reduced investment value / reduced number of newly created jobs).

For the full overview of the Slovanian legislation, please see the Slovenian legislation tracker.

 



 


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