The European Commission has welcomed a list of ‘best practices’ agreed by the financial sector, and consumer and business organisations, to help further mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. These practices include payment moratoria for consumer and business loans, and for insurance contributions: enabling safer cashless payments while ensuring cash payments remain available for those who need them; ensuring loans aimed at mitigating the impact of coronavirus are provided swiftly, and that the fees and interest rates incurred are fair; legitimate insurance claims are processed and paid out as quickly as possible.
The Commission has further adopted an Implementing Decision to facilitate the interoperability of contact tracing and warning apps. It promotes an interface to exchange anonymized information from national contact tracing and warning apps in a secure manner between Member States deciding to make use of it. Ultimately, citizens travelling the EU will then only need to install a single app. At this stage, 10 national apps have already been launched and 10 more are expected to become operational in the near future.
Under the State Aid Temporary Framework, the Commission has most recently approved:
- a Belgian guarantee scheme to support SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and an additional €6,35 million scheme to support up to 95 organisations, active in the social tourism sector in Flanders;
- two Bulgarian wage subsidy schemes for preserving jobs in sectors most affected by the coronavirus outbreak;
- a €148 million Danish scheme to compensate companies for damages still suffered due to coronavirus outbreak, an additional €27 million scheme to support companies affected by temporary coronavirus- related restrictive health measures, and €93,3 million in schemes to support self-employed workers and freelancers affected by coronavirus outbreak;
- a €77 million Dutch scheme to support the development and implementation of e-health applications in the context of the coronavirus outbreak
- a €20 million Estonian scheme to compensate international ferry operators for damages suffered due to the coronavirus outbreak;
- a €1.2 billion Italian scheme to support companies active in agriculture, forestry, fishery, aquaculture and related sectors affected by coronavirus outbreak
- a €58 million Latvian rent compensation scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak;
- a €47,5 million Lithuanian scheme to support companies active in the production and processing of pig, vegetable and aquaculture products affected by the coronavirus outbreak;
- a €108 million Maltese scheme to support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak;
- a €80 million Slovak scheme to support research, development and testing infrastructure for coronavirus relevant products.