Government extends into May support to businesses hit by pandemic

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Shopping mall concession store closed during the coronavirus emergency situation. Such businesses still have to pay rents. Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

Businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions will also be eligible for support in May, the government has ruled.

While non-essential stores and cafe and restaurants' outdoor terraces – for those wishing to brave the weather – opened Monday, hotels, spas, conference organizers and others remain under the same restrictions regime, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday night.

Support is due from a previously-approved €44 million aid package, which has some surplus due to retail firms faring better in March and April than projected – fewer companies saw turnover fall by 30 percent or more than was expected.

Under the current restrictions, eating in the outdoor dining areas of catering establishments is permitted until 9 p.m. Tables must be arranged in accordance with the 50 percent occupancy restriction and the 2+2 rule applicable to outdoor dining areas. The maximum amount of diners per table is 10.

Customers are still not allowed to eat and drink indoors in the sales and service halls of catering establishments. Take-away sales of food is allowed. If a workplace provides catering to its own employees, measures should be put in place to encourage eating at different times and, if possible, serving food to-go. Hotels are still only allowed to provide catering to overnight guests as room service.

All stores may open their doors for customers while taking the 2+2 rule and the 25 percent occupancy requirement into account separately for each store.

Existing restrictions for service facilities will not change, which means that they may be open if the 2+2 rule and the 25 percent occupancy requirement are complied with.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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