Government extends coronavirus support measures until end of September
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Government extends coronavirus support measures until end of September

Credit: Hatim Kaghat/Belga

Belgium’s core federal ministers decided on Monday evening to extend a series of support measures for companies and self-employed people whose businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis until 30 September.

These include more flexible rules for temporary unemployment in case of unforeseeable factors in all sectors, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Alexander De Croo confirmed to Belga.

The double bridging right, allowing businesses who have had to temporarily close down their companies as a result of Covid-19 to fall back on financial support, and the new bridging right that came into force on 1 January will be extended as well.

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Previously, the Belgian government announced it would be extending support measures for businesses and self-employed people affected by the crisis until 30 June, if they were able to demonstrate a decrease in income of at least 40% during the month prior to the one in which they requested relief.

The support measures to cushion the effect of the crisis on vulnerable economic sectors and workers will cover businesses until the end of September, by which time the final step of Belgium’s “summer plan” will have taken effect, with the plan to “lift the restrictions as much as possible,” according to De Croo.

All sectors that can resume their activities from 9 June onwards will still be entitled to the double benefit for the month of June, Minister for the Self-Employed, David Clarinval, announced on Tuesday.

“I am delighted that many sectors that have been at a standstill for months have been waiting for this recovery. Nevertheless, we must continue to support these self-employed, who will benefit from the double bridging right for the month of June. I am making sure that the law and the support measures are properly applied,” he said.