The government on Sunday unveiled a €700 m support package for companies and workers to deal with the impact of the spread of coronavirus.
The measures aim to mitigate the impact of tough new measures adopted on Sunday that include the closure of a large number private companies except essential services such as supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies.
Ministers will be at the Presidential Palace at 7 pm to answer questions from the media about the package. They will also answer questions online from the public on the government’s Facebook page from 7.30 pm..
Here are some of the measure
- Suspension of the additional contributions to the General Health Scheme which was due to start this month for two months
- VAT to be reduced to 17% from 19% for two months on approval of the legislation
- Suspension of obligation of companies to submit VAT payments for two months
- Four weeks ‘special’ leave for parents who work in the private sector with children aged up to 15. This will be income linked and paid to those whose work does not permit working from home
- A special support scheme for all companies covered by today’s decision that they suspend their operation or which continue to operate and see a 25% plus drop in turnover. This is so as to avoid employees losing their jobs. Employees will receive unemployment benefit for as long as the company is not operating
- A price ceiling on items such as face masks and antiseptics to prevent profiteering
- Sick leave for those required to self-isolate or quarantine
- A €750 allowance to students who will remain abroad because of the measures
- The public service will operate with a safety staff and work will be done from home wherever possible. This comes into effect on Tuesday.
In addition steps are being taken to boost the health services with €100 m by hiring additional staff, purchasing more equipment, boosting the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (which carries out the tests) with equipment and staff and boosting the ambulance service and the 1420 help line.
For the official announcement regarding the measures (in Greek) click here.