Measures for Italian businesses hit by new COVID restrictions to be published on Tuesday

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A package of measures aimed at supporting businesses in Italy which will suffer from restrictions imposed to rein in a second wave of COVID-19 will be published on Tuesday, officials said on Monday.

Rome on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close by 6 p.m. and shut public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to try to halt a rapid resurgence in the coronavirus that has pushed daily infection rates to new records.

The government left most businesses operating however and held back from imposing a nationwide curfew, after reporting 21,273 new coronavirus cases and 128 deaths.

Protesters against the measures implemented to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic clash with Police in Naples, Italy, 25 October 2020. EPA-EFE/CESARE ABBATE

The cabinet is expected to meet later on Monday to approve measures worth some 4.5-5 billion euros ($5.3-5.9 billion) for companies whose business will be affected by the new closures.

The package will include one-off non-repayable funds, tax credits for rents, the scrapping of the IMU housing tax due to be paid in December, and funds for further 10 weeks of temporary lay-off schemes, government sources said.

“The goal is to publish the decree in the official gazette (on Tuesday), with measures that will support 350,000 companies in… all those businesses which will be hit by the new restrictions,” Misiani said in an interview with RTL 102.5 radio.

Economy Minister Gualtieri said on Sunday that compensation would arrive “as soon as possible”, with the national tax agency paying by mid-November or by the end of the year at the latest.

“(The government) knows that we are asking for an important sacrifice, which is needed to contain the virus,” Gualtieri said, speaking on national broadcaster RAI, and adding that funds will exceed those approved after the first wave of coronavirus.

($1 = 0.8460 euros)

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