Brussels approves Bulgaria's 3.1 mln euro scheme to back Covid-hit tour operators

Brussels approves Bulgaria's 3.1 mln euro scheme to back Covid-hit tour operators

The European Commission said that it approved a 3.1 million euro ($3.5 million) Bulgarian scheme for support of tour operators in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the State Aid Temporary Framework as financing will not exceed 2.3 million euro per beneficiary; and will be granted no later than June 30, the Commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The aim of the scheme is to provide liquidity support to tour operators having to refund customers for the travels scheduled to take place in the March-December period of 2020 and subsequently cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak and the travel restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants. In order to be eligible, a company must have recorded a difference of at least 256 euro between its turnover in 2019 and its turnover in 2020, VAT excluded, combined with any state aids received in 2020 and in 2021. In addition, a company must have recorded a turnover higher than 256 euro in both 2018 and 2019, the Commission also said.

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