Bulgaria to support employees at businesses closed over Covid-19 with 25.6 mln euro

Bulgaria to support employees at businesses closed over Covid-19 with 25.6 mln euro

Bulgaria introduced a new programme worth 50 million levs ($30.4 million/25.6 million euro) for support of businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the labour ministry said.

Financing for the programme will be provided under the EU's operational programme Human Resouces Development 2014-2020, through the REACT-EU mechanism, the labour ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The new support scheme approved by the government on Wednesday benefits employees of businesses that have discontinued their operations under the orders of the authorities that aim to limit the spread of Covid-19 and relieve pressure on the health system. Employees hired for eight-hour workdays who were put on unpaid leave by their employers during the coronavirus crisis, will be eligible for a financial compensation of 24 levs ($14.6/12.3 euro) for each day of the leave, for a period of up to 60 days, the labour ministry said.

The filing of applications under the new programme will start on November 30. The measure is expected to provide support to 50,000 people and its budget will be increased if necessary, labour minister Denitsa Sacheva said in the statement.

On Wednesday, health minister Kostadin Angelov said that the government has approved an extension of the state of epidemic emergency introduced over the spread of Covid-19 until the end of January 2021. All restaurants, gyms, shopping malls, and casinos will be closed as of November 27. Attendance will be suspended at universities, schools, kindergartens and nurseries.

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