The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the hotel sector is unparalleled, with the industry being one of those hit hardest by the pandemic. 

Our international Hotels & Leisure team is supporting a number of hotel businesses during this challenging time, helping them navigate their way out of the crisis. The team has worked together to provide an overview of the current requirements hotels must be aware of and government support available to the sector in each of our office locations.

 

Australia

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

Australia's States and Territories each have their own regulations and orders in place to effect a lock down. The Federal Government has made recommendations for the easing of restrictions, and each State and Territory will implement an easing of restrictions as they see appropriate.

Each State and Territory is implementing a relaxation of the lock down orders on its own timetable and with its own specific requirements, including in relation to venue capacity, social distancing, and requirements for COVID-19 safety plans. At a State and Territory level some restrictions are being lifted. While the Federal Government has released a three step plan to move out of lockdown, each State and Territory has implemented its own regulations in line with their local conditions. 

Currently, the only State subject to lockdown is Victoria in response to a second wave of infections. Other States like Queensland and Western Australia have closed their internal borders but have not gone into a lock down.

From 6pm on Sunday 2 August (for a period of 6 weeks), in metropolitan Melbourne, Stage 4 restrictions apply. Other restrictions apply to regional Victoria. 

Stage 4 restrictions mean a curfew is in place between the hours of 8pm until 5am. This means people must be at their home during these hours. The only reasons to leave home between 8pm and 5am will be work, medical care and caregiving.

Further, many States are requiring returning travellers to be subject to a mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine period. This applies in all States and Territories for returning international travellers. 

In NSW, the Government is charging NSW and non-NSW residents returning from Victoria and all international travellers for their quarantine accommodation. These costs in NSW are $3,000 for one adult and additional occupants will be added as follows:

  • additional adults: $1,000 each
  • additional children: $500 each
  • child under 3: no additional cost

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

At this stage, there is no indication as to when the lock downs will ease. 


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Hotels are permitted to open and were permitted to do so even during the initial lockdowns.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Hotels are required to enforce social distancing measures and observe the rule requiring 4 square metres of space per person. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

See above as the same rules apply to staff. 

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Dining areas/bars are permitted to open provided they enforce social distancing measures and observe the rule requiring 4 square metres of space per person. However there is also a maximum cap of 300 people at any one time in a hospitality venue (in NSW). Further these venues are required to take down and record the details of their patrons in order to track future cases. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Leisure facilities are permitted to open provided they enforce social distancing measures and observe the rule requiring 4 square metres of space per person.

Further in NSW:

  • The maximum number of people who may attend a wedding or a gathering following a wedding service cannot be greater than 150 people and is subject to the 4 square metre rule. This applies to weddings generally, and therefore wedding receptions held in hotels. 
  • The maximum number of people who can attend a corporate event cannot exceed 150 people or one customer per 4 square metres, whichever is the lesser.  This applies to conferences or other internal group gatherings including those in hotels. 
  • A maximum of 20 people per class applies to gym and recreation classes such as yoga, tai chi and pilates.
  • The maximum number of participants at a community sporting activity must not exceed 500.
    Please note that those maximum numbers are regularly being assessed and may change at any time.

Latest government advice

See previous section above. 


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

The focal point of the Federal Government support is the JobKeeper Payment scheme which is a temporary subsidy for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligible employers, sole traders and other entities can apply to receive $1,500 per eligible employee per fortnight.

Recently the Federal Government has announced an extension of this scheme from 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021 subject to revised rules and amounts. 

The Federal Government introduced the Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme to support up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs (including sole traders and not-for-profits). Under the Scheme, the Government is guaranteeing 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. The ideas is that the Scheme will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit, supporting many otherwise viable SMEs to access vital additional funding to get through the impact of Coronavirus. The requirements and eligibility requirements for this Scheme are however narrow. 

The Government has also developed a COVID Safe app that helps State and Territory health officials to quickly identify and contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (called ‘close contacts’). Without the help of technology, finding close contacts relies on people and their recollection of close contacts. This app supplements the manual recording of patrons attending sites.  
 
State and Territory health officials can only access app information if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested. COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth to look for other devices that have the app installed. It takes a note of a contact when it occurs, through a digital handshake. It securely logs the other user’s encrypted reference code and the date, time, Bluetooth® signal strength and proximity of the contact on the user’s phone, and notes the phone model. This information is then securely encrypted and stored on the phone.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

See link here for our article on this topic. 

 

Local Contacts:

Adrian Rodrigues and Vince Baudille


Czech Republic

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

The Czech Republic is currently not in lockdown. 

Local lockdowns (in specific regions or districts) may however be implemented if necessary.

As of 15 June 2020, the Czech Government introduced a "traffic lights" system dividing Schengen countries into three categories (zones) depending on their epidemiological situation and laying down specific conditions for crossing the Czech borders (e.g. a COVID-19 test may be required for individuals traveling from certain countries).

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

N/A

New measures are considered on the basis of the current epidemiological situation.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes .

Customers shall be advised to keep a distance of 2 meters and to pay by card.

Hand sanitizers must be provided at the entrance to accommodation facilities and at the toilets. Areas/items that are often touched must be sanitised on a regular basis (bathrooms, toilets, furniture including tables or phones).  

Many hotels are also implementing additional safety measures including, for example, no buffet breakfast. 

As of 27 July, the maximum amount of people who may attend an indoor event is 500 (for one sector). Wearing facemasks is compulsory at all indoor events of more than 100 people.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

If an employee of a catering facility in a hotel has a body temperature of 37° C or higher or other symptoms of COVID-19, their access to the establishment should be prohibited.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Customers must be advised to keep a distance of 2 meters and to pay by card.

Hand sanitizers must be provided at the entrance to both the indoor and outdoor areas of a catering service facility. Disinfection of chairs and tables must be carried out before each new group of customers is seated. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

It is recommended to ensure disinfection of the gym equipment after use by each customer. Hand sanitizers and paper towels must be provided to both the staff and the customers.

The staff must ensure the greatest possible dispersion of people in the locker rooms, which means requiring some lockers to be unused. It is required to perform intensive cleaning every day after closure. 

In spas, all laundry must be disinfected and 100% air exchange must be performed using air conditioning. 

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The Government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. It includes tax reliefs, grants, governmental loans, and an antivirus programme aimed at employment promotion etc. 

A new programme, COVID Accommodation, is supposed to support accommodation facilities that had to be closed during the lock down. The Government will contribute CZK 100 to 330 per room per night for the period when the facility had to be closed.  

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

Entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 measures may apply for financial support to pay rent up to CZK 10 million under the following conditions: the landlord shall discount at least 30% of the rent and the tenant shall pay 20%. The Government will then provide financial support corresponding to the 50% of the rent. This applies to the months of April, May and June. 

 

Local Contacts:

Vojtěch Chloupek

Denmark

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

The country is not currently in nationwide lockdown. The only current restrictions apply to nightclubs and large events such as concerts.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

It is currently undecided exactly when nightclubs and concert venues will be allowed to open again.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

In areas with public access, hotels must allow for 4m2 per person. However, the requirement is lowered to 2 m2 per person in restaurants and cafés where guests are mainly sitting down.

For conference and meeting activities, the hotel must ensure at least a 1-meter distance between guests for activities of more than 15 minutes duration.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

Hotels must establish processes ensuring inter alia that interaction time between guest and staff is minimised and that the guidelines pertaining to hygiene are respected, e.g. cleaning of staff working stations at the end of their shift and increasing availability of hand washing stations.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Restaurants have been permitted to open since 18 May.

2 m2 per guest is required and there must be at least 1 meter between groups of guests.

All restaurants and bars must close at 10 pm. (this restriction is for the time being only in effect for 14 days from 17 September 2020).

All restaurants must respect a 50-person maximum capacity rule (this restriction is for the time being only in effect for 14 days from 17 September 2020).

Where relevant, a sign by the entrance stating maximum number of guests allowed is recommended.

Easy access to disinfectants is required for guests and employees.

Each company must create their own individual plan for proper cleaning and disinfection.

Textiles such as towels must be washed at 60 degrees.

Masks are required by staff and by guests when not eating.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Sports facilities like gyms and spas have been permitted to open since 8 June.

A minimum of 4 m2 space for each user is required and floor markings regulating this must be visible. Sweat absorbing equipment must not be present (e.g. yoga mats) and users must disinfect equipment after use.

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The Danish government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. This includes tax postponements, loans and a furlough scheme (which runs until 29 August).

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

No.

 

Local Contacts:

Claudia Vindbjærg Mortensen and Casper Moltke-Leth

Finland

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

The government recommendation for remote working ended on 1 August. Businesses are allowed to be open, and most of the restrictions on businesses have been lifted.

Public events of more than 500 people are not permitted until 31 August, unless the event is organised outdoors and the area is divided into several sections. Indoor events of more than 500 people are permitted if the guidelines of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture are complied with.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

Yes.

From 1 June 2020 most of the restrictions have been eased gradually.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

Physical distances of 1-2 metres between customers must be ensured. It is recommended to install protective screens to the reception desk to protect both customers and staff.  

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

The staff must be advised to stay at home if they experience even the slightest symptoms of flu. The staff also need to be trained to carry out enhanced hand hygiene and on how to act in a state of emergency (e.g. if there is a suspicion of a possible COVID-19 infection). The government recommendation for remote working (for those who could work at home) ended 1 August.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.
 
All customers are required to have their own seats, and the instructions on how to prevent a communicable disease from spreading must be provided. Customers need to be able to wash their hands, and the premises and surfaces of the restaurants/bars must be kept clean.

Restaurants/bars are also responsible for ensuring adequate physical distances between customers.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Regarding spas, cleaning and disinfection of the premises must be enhanced, especially on contact surfaces. It is recommended to limit the number of customers so that the physical distances between customers can be ensured. Customers and staff must be instructed on proper social distancing and hygiene measures. If a staff member or a customer has symptoms, they should stay at home. 

The operation of gyms is not restricted, but the social distancing guidelines and safety of the customers must be taken into account.


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

There are multiple aid systems available for businesses suffering losses due to the coronavirus. These include e.g. business cost support, loan arrangements, guarantees for loans, and research, development and innovation loan (RDI loan).

Read more >

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

The business cost support is designed to help businesses cover their fixed costs, including rent payments, in a situation where their financial standing has suffered due to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Local Contacts:

Maria Carlsson and Johanna Rein

France

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

The national lockdown ended on May 11th. 

However, some restrictions remain applicable within public areas (e.g. public transport, bars, restaurants and hotels) mostly to enforce social distancing measures and the wearing of masks.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

N/A


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes. 

Pursuant to decree No 2020-293 of 23 March 2020, hotels were not included in the list of categories of places that banned from opening to the public. Room service was excluded and so remains prohibited.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes. 

1 meter social distancing is required. Hotels must comply with social distancing guidance and should ensure customers are informed through proper signage. Hotels should also consider rearranging common areas to accommodate social distancing.

The government also suggests that hotels display a label advertising that they are respecting social distancing: link to obtain the label.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes. 

Generally speaking, employees are expected to respect social distancing and should also wear masks if they are in contact with customers. They should also wash their hands every 30 minutes.

Latest government advice

Guide on good practices (doc in French) published by the French Labour Ministry: https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr 

 

Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Since June 15th, cafes, bars and restaurants can open for dining in, both inside and on their terraces, provided that social distancing measures are implemented inside the restaurant :

  • Customers must all be seated. There can be up to 10 people at a table if they came together or made a common reservation.
  • A minimum distance of 1 meter must be respected between each person or group of persons, except if a physical separation can be put in place (with a glass window for example).
  • Employees and people walking around the restaurant/bar must wear a mask. 
  • General good hygiene practice (washing hands regularly, sneezing or coughing into your elbow or into a handkerchief, etc.) must be strictly applied inside the restaurant. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

A minimum distance of 2 meters must be respected between each person practicing an activity (e.g.  gyms) and a minimum of 1 meter is applicable for static persons (e.g. spas).When those distances cannot be respected, a mask should be worn both by customers and employees. Public restrooms are closed. Where possible, people should be encouraged not to use common facilities (lockers, showers, etc). Groups are allowed up to a maximum of 10 persons. Reminders of social distancing and good hygiene practice should be displayed as much as possible in the leisure facility. 

Latest government advice

 

Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes. The government has put a variety of measures in place to support businesses, such as:

  • Companies in the hotel, catering, café, tourism, events, sports, culture and related sectors, which have suffered a very significant decline in activity, are receiving increased support from the State until December 31st (aid up to 10 000 euros if requested before 15 September 2020). However, this only applies to eligible companies involved in such activities with 10- 20 employees and a turnover of EUR 1-2 million.
  • Ordinance No. 2020-306 provides for an extension of the deadlines related to matters that expired during the health emergency period (12 March 2020 to 23 June 2020). However, time limits for tax returns (Corporate Tax, VAT, Income Tax, etc.) are not affected by the Ordinance.
  • Companies can request, without providing further justification, a 3 month deferral for the payment of their forthcoming direct taxes that are due (in principle due on 5 or 15 June and for those due on 5 and 15 July). Only the following taxes are included within the scope of this measure: corporate tax (instalments), payroll tax, business Property Tax (CFE), business value-added local contribution (CVAE). Companies need to complete a special form and send it back to their respective local tax Centre (“SIE”). If a deferred payment is not sufficient to overcome their cash flow problems, companies can request a discount on their direct taxes. The scope of the taxes concerned is the same as for deferred payment. A discount will only be granted in case of serious difficulties that make a deferral of tax payment insufficient. These difficulties must be justified by the company. 
  • It is possible for companies to obtain accelerated repayment of tax credits which should normally be refunded in the course of year 2020.
  • Companies may temporarily cease their activity or reduce employees’ working time without the employees’ consent, while guaranteeing employees a financial compensation package of 70% of their gross salary for hours not worked, which will represent more than 80% of their net salary due to favourable social security treatment. The government will support 100% of the amount companies allow to compensate the reduction of employees’ working time. Companies which obtain the express or implicit authorization of the administrative authority will get financial assistance from the State in order to be able to pay employees.
  • From 1 July, companies will be able to decrease to working within a 40% limit and for a period of two years. The State will compensate part of the employees’ loss of revenue depending on the decrease of their working hours. 

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes but the measures are limited.

The tenant must pay to its landlord the rent and charges for the 2nd and the 3rd quarter 2020 but can benefit from the following support:

  • For companies benefiting from the “Solidarity Fund” (in French, « fonds de solidarité »), Ordinance No. 2020-316  states that landlords shall not charges tenants for penalties, fees, damages or terminate leases because of the failure to pay  rent or charges due between 12 March and  10 September 2020. The companies able to benefit from the “Solidarity Fund” are, pursuant to a Decree dated 30 March 2020, those companies which comply with the following conditions : (i) are not controlled by a commercial company (ii), have suffered a loss of turnover of at least 50% / 80% during the concerned period, (iii) have a workforce of less than or equal 10 / 20 employees (v), have a turnover of EUR 1 / 2 million, (vi) have a taxable profit of 60,000 €. In other words, only small companies are able to benefit from this initiative.
  • For all companies not able to benefit from the Solidarity Fund, Ordinance No. 2020-306 states that penalties, fees, damages or the right of termination (clause résolutoire), as a result of rent or charges due between 12 March and 23 June 2020 are postponed until 23 June 2020.

 

Local Contacts:

Alexandre Vuchot, Maroun Abinader, Virginie Esteoule and Rami Kawkabani

Germany

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

Since the end of May 2020, the lockdown has been gradually lifted. 

However, various restrictions remain in place and certain businesses are still largely closed, such as discotheques and clubs. 

The latest measures decided in the resolution taken at the summit between the federal government and the states of 27 August 2020 relate to the continuing prohibition of large events, fines for refusal to wear masks, regulations for travel returnees in relation to quarantine and testing requirements, limitation of private festivities and the funding of the digitalisation of schools. 

Due to the federal nature of the German state, the rules, restrictions or opening measures are being coordinated between the federal government and the federal states, but bindingly decided and implemented in detail at state level, resulting in a heterogeneous set of rules and regulations in Germany.

Further, restrictions are decided and implemented locally at district or municipal level depending on the development of the infection numbers. Restrictive measures may be ordered in case a threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000 residents within a period of 7 days is exceeded.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

Certain opening/easing measures, such as a reduction of the isolation period to 5 days for travel returnees upon provision of satisfactory test results, or the opening of sporting events to the public, will be considered in the course of Autumn 2020. The prohibition of large events where the tracing of contacts is not possible shall apply until the end of 2020.

In all cases, easing or restriction measures are subject to the evolution of the pandemic which is constantly monitored, and a strict and global timeline for easing measures is not in place.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

However, in certain regions hotels may face a prohibition to host visitors who have been in risk areas in the last 14 days. Travel limitations, also within Germany, may apply in this context. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

Social distancing of 1.5 metres is still the official requirement. Further, hotels shall develop and implement hygiene concepts covering aspects such as social distancing, disinfection and cleaning and risk reduction. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Companies are obliged to develop and implement a hygiene concept based on the current risk assessment. It is required to avoid unnecessary contact in the workforce and with customers, to comply with general hygiene measures and to minimize the risk of infection in the event of necessary contact through special hygiene and protective measures (e.g. masks). In addition, companies are still encouraged to enable home working wherever practical.

Latest government advice

Federal Government: Regulations and Restrictions

Federal Government: Regulations in Federal States


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, subject to the development and strict implementation of hygiene concepts e.g. social distancing, disinfection measures, contact tracing.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, subject to the development and strict implementation of hygiene concepts e.g. social distancing, disinfection measures.

Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The federal government as well as the federal states and local authorities have implemented various measures to provide financial support, such as a multi-billion rescue fund, loan through state-run development bank KfW, interim aid and reduction of VAT.

Federal Government: Information for companies and the self-employed

Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

The law “to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in civil, bankruptcy and criminal procedure law” of March 2020 has introduced a temporary suspension of the landlord’s termination right in case of COVID-19 caused payment defaults occurring from 1 April to 30 June 2020 that applies to both, residential and commercial leases.

The suspension of the termination right of the landlord because of COVID-19 related rent payment default between April and June 2020 tenant applies until 30 June 2022 at the latest. If the rent is not paid by 30 June 2022, the landlord is entitled to terminate the lease for this payment default. The law does not grant to the tenant a right to refuse performance but only protection against termination. In addition, default interest is payable until the actual payment (unless the landlord waives the claim for default interest).

 

Local Contacts:

Elie Kaufman

Hong Kong

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

Regarding individuals, there are no mandatory requirements for people to stay at home or to work from home.  There are regulations on social distancing with group gatherings being limited to four persons (this will remain in force until 24 September 2020, subject to further assessment).

Businesses are now open with some restrictions in place (e.g. mandatory mask-wearing and limitation on number of customers etc).

For catering businesses, there are restrictions in place (please see response below under "Hotel facilities status"). 

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

If the number of daily cases continues to decrease, it is anticipated that the Government will relax or lift some of the restrictions (e.g. group gatherings) in the next 2-3 weeks.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

Hotels are advised to suspend any mass gatherings or social activities within the hotel premises.  Catering services will need to comply with the existing requirements.

It is also recommended for hotels to provide alcohol hand sanitisers to guests, enhance cleaning and disinfection of premises and to check the travel history of guests.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

Hotel staff are advised to wear surgical masks, maintain good personal hygiene and follow appropriate social distancing (at least 1 metre apart) whenever practicable.

Latest government advice

 

Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Restaurants are permitted to open. From 18 September 2020, dine-in services are allowed from 5am to 11:59pm.  During dine-in hours, restaurants will have to operate at 50% capacity, with tables to be kept at least 1.5 metres apart and each table capped at four people maximum.  

Bars and nightclubs (which have been closed since 15 July 2020) will reopen on 18 September 2020, with similar restrictions to operate at 50% capacity and groups of up to four people permitted to gather.  Live performances and dancing are not allowed.

These restrictions will remain in force until 24 September 2020, subject to further assessment.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Fitness centres, sports premises (including swimming pools, tennis courts) and beauty parlours (including spas, bathhouses and massage establishments) have been reopened since 4 September 2020.

Any person within the fitness centre or sports premises is required to wear a mask at all times except when the person is exercising with a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person (except a coach or other staff member), exercising within any outdoor premises, swimming, or having a shower.  No more than four persons may be allowed at each fitness station/equipment, and training classes must comply with the same gathering limit.  Swimming pools will have to operate at 50% capacity.

For beauty parlours, all staff must wear protective gears such as masks and face shield/goggles at all times when providing service to customers and the gears have to be changed and sanitised after service is provided to a customer.  Customers may only be served upon appointment.  Similarly, no more than four persons may be allowed in each partitioned service area.

These restrictions will remain in force until 24 September 2020, subject to further assessment.

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The government has launched an Employment Support Scheme (ESS) to provide wage subsidies to eligible employers to retain their employees, in return for employers undertaking not to implement redundancy. The application deadlines for the first tranche and second tranche of ESS have since passed (deadline of the first tranche was 14 June 2020 and second tranche was 13 September 2020).  

The government also launched the Hotel Sector Support Scheme as part of its Anti-epidemic Fund, which was in addition to the ESS as mentioned above. Eligible hotels with 100 or less licensed guestrooms were able to apply for a one-off subsidy of HKD300,000. Eligible hotels with 101 or more licensed guestrooms were able apply a one-off subsidy of HKD400,000. The application deadline for this Hotel Sector Support Scheme has since passed (deadline was 18 May 2020).

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

No.

 

Local Contacts:

Pattie Walsh, Jeannette Tam, Stephanie Wong and Jenny Kwan

Hungary

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

Yes.

A main rule, based on a government decree effective as of 1 September 2020, is that only Hungarian citizens may enter the territory of Hungary in passenger traffic. Subject to the nature of their journey, other special provisions and detailed rules pertain to foreign citizens, which can also be found in the relevant government decree. Separate provisions pertain to the participants and organisers of sports events, those appearing at cultural events, technical staff working at such events and the employees of affiliated companies. A separate regulation pertains to entry into Hungary from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia by Hungarian citizens and the citizens of these countries.  

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

The new rules will be in force until 1 October 2020. However, the situation is being reviewed regularly.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

No, but many hotels are implementing social distancing measures on a voluntary basis. Regarding individuals, the current guidance advises that people should wear masks in public places and maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

The staff are advised to wear masks.

Latest government advice

National Centre for Public Health

Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, restaurants and bars are permitted to be open. Employees at such establishments are required to wear masks.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) are also permitted to be open. 
 

Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

The government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. This includes suspension of loan payments, tax relief, grants, and interest-free loans.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

The only relief was that leases could not be terminated due to non-payment of rent until 30 June 2020.

 

Local Contacts:

David Dederick and Ferenc Mátrai

Italy

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No. 

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

Italy has started its easement since 18th May. There are no restrictions on travelling within the country, while there is an obligation to carry out a COVID test when coming from some foreign countries such as Spain and Greece.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

 Yes, all staff should wear a mask, and their temperature has to be measured before accessing the hotel.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

 Yes, all staff should wear a mask, and their temperature has to be measured before accessing the hotel.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, but only with meal served at the table. Each table has to be at a distance of 1.5 metres from the other, and each customer has to leave contact details in order to be contacted in case of emergency. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

They are open, but with very limited access. They can be accessed only by one person at the time or by members of the same family. It does not apply to open air structures (such as external swimming pool).

Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

A "holiday voucher" is granted to families with a low income. The amount of the voucher will vary from EUR150 (per single person) up to EUR500 for a full family, to be used in a hotel structure. A tax credit for renovation of hotel and leisure businesses has also been set.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

The government is providing for a tax credit equal to 60% of the rent due for April, May, June and July.

 

Local Contacts:

Antonella Ceschi

Mainland China

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

China has already eased lockdown.

Cities throughout China are now divided into high-risk, medium-risk and low-risk. The risk level is to be updated from time to time according to the latest development of the epidemic situation in that city/area.

Low-risk areas are encouraged to resume trading, production and normal life as far as possible.

Medium-risk areas can resume trading, production and individuals' activities but to a limited capacity.

High-risk areas (such as certain areas in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region) must focus on controlling the pandemic and must only keep necessary public facilities and national economy and public welfare related businesses open.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

There is no schedule for easing lockdown. However, the local governments may change their policies, especially for high-risk areas.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Hotels are in general permitted to open in low-risk areas. 

Hotels in medium-risk areas are in general required to suspend their operations or open in a limited capacity.

Hotels in high-risk areas are not allowed to open.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Social distancing of 1 meter is highly recommended in China. There may also be stricter social distancing required by local authorities. For example, hotels in Shanxi province have been recommended to keep a social distance of 1.5 meters.  However, in practice, this social distancing measure is not easy to implement.  

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Hotels have been advised by local authority to implement certain measures in relation to their employees, such as reporting of health conditions daily and mandatory wearing of masks and gloves. High frequency cleaning must be done of canteens, counter-tops, hotel rooms and other high risk surfaces or areas.  Employees returning from high and medium risk areas must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Hotel restaurants/bars are in general permitted to open in low-risk areas. 

Hotel restaurants/bars in medium-risk areas are normally required to suspend their business or open to a limited capacity.

Hotel restaurants/bars in high-risk areas are not permitted to open.

Social distancing, temperature monitoring, measures to limit the movement of people and maximum capacity requirements  must be adopted during the operation of public areas in hotels such as restaurants, bars or fitness areas.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Same as above.

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The local government in China have launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. This includes but is not limited to providing credit support to companies which have suffered heavily during Covid-19, reducing interest on company loans or extending repayment periods, granting additional loans without the borrower having to pay off the principal first, exempting/reducing rental costs, allowing delay of social insurance payments or waiving late payment fees for social insurance.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

Relief measures vary from place to place.

  • In Shanghai, medium scale or small scale business enterprises who lease the premises of state-owned companies can enjoy a 2-month rental exemption. More information available here.
  • Shandong province also has similar relief measure in place. Medium scale or small scale business enterprises who lease the premises of state-owned companies can enjoy 1 to 3 months' rental exemption or monthly rental can be reduced by half for 1 to 3 months. More information available here.

 

Local Contacts:

Grace Zhao

Poland

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

The must burdensome restrictions have already been lifted. 

There are still certain limitations in force, e.g., to wear face coverings in public spaces and in respect of the number of participants at organised events.

Regarding businesses, most businesses are now open.

As of 13 June, Poland has restored full border traffic within the European Union.

However, due to the worsening situation in some parts of the country, as of 8 August, some additional restrictions have been introduced in several districts. 

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

The timeline for easing lockdown has not been set. The government has set out plans to return to normality throughout the remainder of 2020. However, as Poland reported its highest number of new daily coronavirus cases since the global pandemic started for several days in a row in August 2020, the Polish government is now again thinking of introducing and tightening certain restrictions. However, implementing the next lockdown by closing businesses is not currently being considered.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Hotels reopened on 4 May. However, hotel operators are obliged to follow certain sanitary restrictions. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

Social distancing of 1.5 m is still the official government position. According to the official guidelines, the distance between workers should be at least 1.5 m (however 2 m is advised), working from home if possible is recommended, as well as minimising the number of meetings. Telephone and e-mail contact is preferred. The time when guests are at reception desks should be minimised.

Many hotels are implementing safety measures, including hand sanitisation stations, as well as protective screenings.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

There are some public instructions for employers in the hotel sector, according to which each employer should reduce the number of employees working simultaneously (e.g. by splitting shift) and must observe the rules for ventilating, cleaning and disinfecting premises. Hotels are also encouraged to prepare rooms for those self-isolating. It is mandatory for employees to properly wash hands before starting work, and to wear a nose and mouth guard (alternatively a visor) and protective gloves while performing duties.

Latest government advice

Ministry of Development


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Hotel restaurants, bars and cafes reopened from 18 May under certain sanitary restrictions. Currently, it is recommended to maintain a 2-metre distance between people standing in line, and exclude blow dryers from use. The distance between tables should be at least 2 m (1 m if the tables are separated by partitions at least 1 m high). Hand disinfection by customers at the entrance to the premises is mandatory. Wearing mouth and nose protection is not required for guests when eating or drinking. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Swimming pools, gyms, fitness clubs and spa facilities reopened on 6 June under certain sanitary restrictions. It is recommended to maintain a distance of at least 2 m between customers and employees, and set a break during the day for the purpose of surface disinfection and room ventilation. The space between exercise equipment should be at least 1.5 m. Waiting rooms should be excluded from use. Some limits on the number of people using the facilities have also been introduced. 

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

There were certain measures to relieve tenants from rent payments in shopping centres subject to restrictions; however these are no longer applicable.

The extension of leases which should expire prior to 30 June 2020 was foreseen until 30 June 2020. Until 30 June 2020, no landlord could terminate a lease agreement or its payment terms (subject to certain exceptions). 

The Polish Parliament has adopted many acts which deal with various economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering financial aid to entrepreneurs (including loans).

 

Local Contacts:

 Marcin Świerżewski, Edyta Deszczka and Karol Nowaczek 

Slovak Republic

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

The Slovak Republic is currently not in lockdown. 

Whole country lockdown or local lockdowns (in specific regions or districts) may however be implemented in the future, if required.

The "traffic lights" system, valid from 18 September 2020, has been introduced by the Slovak Government dividing Schengen countries into three categories (zones) depending on the development of their epidemiological situation and laying down specific conditions for crossing the Slovak borders (e.g. a COVID-19 test may be required for individuals traveling from certain countries). The detailed information may be found here

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

N/A

New stricter measures will be considered on the basis of the development of the epidemiological situation.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes. 

Customers shall be advised to keep a distance of 2 meters and to pay mainly by cards.

Hand sanitizers have to be provided at the entrance to the accommodation facility and at the toilets. Areas/items that are often touched shall be sanitised on a regular basis (bathrooms, toilets, room equipment including tables or cell phones).  

At hotel facilities providing food, hygienic facilities have to be sanitized every hour. Cutlery shall not be freely available on tables. Many hotels are also implementing additional safety measures including, for example, no buffet breakfast. 

As of 1 October 2020, no mass events of any nature (sport, cultural, entertainment etc.) may be organized in the Slovak Republic. The only exceptions are wedding ceremonials, baptisms and funerals under strict conditions. 

Notwithstanding, those mass events where all participants have confirmed negative COVID-19 tests not older than 12 days, are allowed. Such mass events shall be, however, announced to the competent regional public health authority at least 48 hours in advance.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

If an employee of a catering facility in a hotel has a body temperature of 37° C and higher or other symptoms of COVID-19, their access to the establishment should be prohibited.

Latest government advice

Coronavirus in the Slovak Republic

Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic 


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes

Customers shall be advised to keep a distance of 2 meters and to pay mainly by cards.

Hand sanitizers have to be provided at the entrance to both the indoor and outdoor areas of a catering service facility. Disinfection of chairs and tables is carried out before each new group of customers is seated. 

As of 1 October the opening hours of operations where food and drinks are served and the customers are seated, shall be limited from 6 AM to 10 PM only. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes

It is recommended to ensure disinfection of gym equipment after use by each client. Hand sanitizers and paper towels have to be provided to both staff and clients.

Staff must ensure the greatest possible dispersion of people in locker rooms, which means to occupy the far ends of the room or to leave some lockers unoccupied. It is necessary to perform an intensive cleaning every day after closure. 

In spas, all laundry must be disinfected and 100% air exchange must be performed using air conditioning. 

Latest government advice

Coronavirus in the Slovak Republic

Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic 


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The Government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. It includes tax reliefs, grants, governmental loans, deferral of tax prepayments, prolongation of the period for submission of tax returns etc. 

For detailed information please see:

Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic 

Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes

Entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 measures may apply for financial support to repay rent for the amount in which the landlord provides a discount from the rent to the tenant. The maximum amount of the rent provided by the state is 50% of the rent. 

For detailed information please see:

Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic

 

Local Contacts:

Vojtěch Chloupek, Katarína Pfeffer and Zuzana Juríčková

Singapore

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

The Singapore government has implemented a three-phased approach to resume activities with the gradual re-opening of economic activities in each phase. 

From 19 June 2020 onwards, the country is currently in Phase 2, where most of Singapore's economy has been reopened (including hotels, F&B outlets, retailers, and places of worship) subject to safe management measures.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

The government has not announced when Singapore will enter the third and final phase. Restrictions will be further eased if and when the situation allows. 


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Hotels that wish to resume the following activities must first submit an application to the Singapore Tourism Board for assessment and obtain approval from the Ministry of Trade and Industry:-

  • Re-opening recreation areas for children (e.g. Kids' Club).
  • Providing accommodation to guests for the purposes of leisure (e.g. staycations).

There is mandatory implementation of SafeEntry, which is a national digital check-in system deployed by the Singapore government to record the personal details of all individuals who visit public venues to facilitate contact tracing efforts. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

The following measures apply:

  • Occupancy must be limited to no more than 1 person per 10 sqm guest-accessible public space per person at any point in time.
  • Gatherings must be limited to 5 or fewer persons.
  • Marriage solemnisations of no more than 50 pax and 1 solemniser for each solemnisation.
  • Classes organised by a permitted enterprise providing an education service must be limited to 50 pax including the trainer.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

These measures include:

  • Staff must wear a mask at all times.
  • Ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1 metre between persons.
  • Implement SafeEntry to record the entry of all personnel. 

Latest government advice

Advisory for Hotels in Phase 2


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

F&B establishments must implement safe management measures, including:

  • Each table or group must be limited to 5 or fewer persons, with at least one-metre spacing between tables or groups.
  • Self-service buffet lines must be suspended.
  • All forms of public entertainment (e.g. live music, television screenings) are not allowed.
  • The sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited after 22:30.

There are also advisories in place regarding queue management, crowd management, contact tracing, health checks, and cleanliness and hygiene. 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

For gyms and sports facilities, the following restrictions are in place:

  • Facilities can only admit a maximum number of persons according to its gross floor area based on 10 sqm per person. No facility, regardless of size, may admit more than 50 persons without specific approval. 
  • 2 metres between individuals should be maintained while exercising and playing sport. Physical distancing of 3 metres between individuals should be observed for indoors high intensity of high movement exercise classes. 
  • Group activities are limited to no more than 5 participants. 

There are also advisories in place regarding crowd management, contact tracing, health checks, cleaning protocols, and ventilation. 

For spas and wellness services, general safe management measures for retail establishments would apply. There are also advisories in replace regarding cleaning protocols.

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes

The Singapore government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses, including under the Unity, Resilience, Solidarity and Fortitude Budgets; waiver of licence fees for hotels, travel agents and tourist guides; and assistance with third-party professional cleaning and disinfection costs for premises with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes, including the following:

  • A 100% property tax rebate has been made available for all non-residential properties. 
  • The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act mandates that the landlord must pass this benefit on to the tenant, whether by way of payment or offset of rental fees. 
  • A tenant who becomes unable to pay rent on account of cash-flow issues due to COVID-19 may obtain a statutory moratorium for temporary suspension of rent payment. A notice for relief must be served on the landlord, and any guarantors or sureties. Once the landlord receives such notice, it is precluded from taking action against the tenant for non-payment, including the following: (a) continuing or commencing court and insolvency proceedings due to the non-payment, (b) exercising a right of re-entry or forfeiture due to the non-payment, or (c) terminating the lease due to non-payment of rent and other monies. Such relief is available only for contracts where rent falls due on or after 1 February 2020, and for contracts that were entered into before 25 March 2020.

 

Local Contacts:

Lorraine Tay and Penelope Ng

Spain

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No.

The country is not currently in national lockdown. However, there are some regions, depending on the pandemic impact, that have enforced restrictive measures on their community (limited capacity, restrictions on the right of assembly etc.).

Four different phases were implemented for the relief of the lockdown in Spain, each 15 days long with a possibility to extend them another 15 days, starting on 4 May and ending when the State of alarm was lifted on 21 June. Each of the phases included different measures and restriction on all sectors of the economy, from the use of offices to the capacity of bars and restaurants. Certain of the aforementioned regions have reverted to earlier phases due to an increase in cases.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

On 9 June, 2020, the government approved the Royal Decree-Law 21/2020 on urgent prevention, containment and coordination measures to deal with the health crisis caused by COVID-19 ("Royal Decree-Law 21/2020"), which imposes sanitary measures for life after lockdown (the "new normal"). The official ending of the lockdown was, as abovementioned, when the State of Alarm was lifted on 21 June, 2020. 

The new measures include social distancing (1.5 meters) or the mandatory use of masks in public places (public transport and closed public spaces).


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes, as abovementioned, the Royal Decree-Law 21/2020 establishes a necessary social distance of 1.5 meters.

Furthermore, there are certain Autonomous Communities that have imposed the obligatory wearing of masks in public.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes, there is a document (please see link below) that establishes certain measures that hotels have to implement. 

These measures include, among others: drafting a contingency plan that includes rules for their staff; sanitization of uniforms every day; requiring employees to work in the same groups so as not to mix; and measures to ensure social distancing.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

There are certain restrictions that include, among others: a limit on seating capacity, prohibition of common utensils (such as napkin holders, menus or salt shakers). Also, a mechanism to avoid crowds has been implemented. There are also recommendations for room service. The waiters must wear masks, and there shall be hand sanitizing products on display for the customers.

There are official documents for both restaurants and bars that must be complied with (please see link below).

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

There is a limited capacity on leisure facilities, and as indicated above, there must be hand sanitizing products for use by customers. Sanitizing and cleaning procedures must be updated to ensure that common spaces remain sanitized.

There are specific official documents for gyms and spas that must be followed (please see link below).

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. This includes tax relief, grants, loans and the furlough scheme. 

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

Commercial tenants have been able to request a deferral in payment provided that it complies with the measures established under Chapter 1 of Royal Decree-Law 15/2020 dated 21 April on urgent measures to support the economy and employment. The requirements include, among others: not to have already signed a different agreement with the landlord (such as a rent reduction or another deferral), that the activity has ceased due to the government rules or if it has not, a 75% downfall on the turnover.

However, these measures may be of limited application. For example, they only impose the obligations on "large holders" (natural or legal persons with more than 10 urban properties).

 

Local Contacts:

Jacobo Sanchez-Andrade, Isidro del Moral and Gadea Perez de Guzman

Sweden

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

No, Sweden has never had any lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Sweden is one of the few countries known for not closing down hotels and/or restaurants, other than placing general restrictions – and recommendations – covering all sectors (see details below). 

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

Some of the (general) restrictions are phasing out, such as the travel restrictions.

Regarding work of administrative personnel, the newly updated recommendation is still that, if possible, people should stay at home as much as possible and therefore working from home is encouraged. 


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes

Hotels have been permitted to stay open throughout the outbreak. The regulatory environment has steadily been building up to ensure the safety of the public (see below). 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

 Yes. These include:

- Social distancing
- Maximum capacities  (50) of guests
- Ensuring adequate space between tables
- Providing written information to employees and customers such as marking safe distances on the floor
- Providing satisfactory sanitization/cleansing services

The regulations come from the health agency and are binding and breaches may result in sanctions.

No hotels have so far been subject to major sanctions for violation, but some restaurants have been closed because of non-compliance with the new regulations. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes. 

The health agency still (30 July) recommends that employees, if possible, and by consensus with management, should work from home. The recommendation runs until 31 December 2020, with the possibility of extension. The agency has noted that in sectors such as healthcare working from home is not possible.

The work-environment legislation states that the employer must do everything necessary to prevent the employee from being exposed to ill health or accidents. If an employee needs to work from home due to the risk of Covid-19, the employer is still responsible for ensuring that the employee's work environment is safe. The requirements in the regulations on the design of the workplace can usually be met whilst working from home, but it is important to think about, for example, lighting and ergonomics.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes. 

Restaurants and bars have been allowed to stay open throughout the pandemic. However, regulations have slowly come into force to ensure safety of customers (such as the social distancing requirements above).  Click here to read more.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes. 

Leisure facilities are subject to the same social distancing rules set out above. They must also perform a risk assessment using the applicable risk assessment tool.

Outdoor activities are encouraged, but for indoor activities, the main regulations are: 

  • Limit the number of participants in the activities if possible.
  • Make sure that there are sufficient amounts of signs and warnings.  
  • Clean toilets and surfaces of training equipment that are touched often.
Click here to read more.

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

Various support-programmes and benefits have been implemented by legislation and/or executive orders, for the hotel-sector, but some of the benefits have expired at the end of June, despite on-going crisis. Extensions are likely to be granted. 

The most important support measures are the short time work-allowance, rent-rebate, lowered social-security fees and a so called general conversion aid (see below for details). 

Short time work allowance 

Short-time working means that employers can reduce their employees’ working hours and receive financial support from the central government to compensate for a significant part of the costs for keeping the employee.

  • A short-time work allowance is a financial support whereby the employer’s costs for personnel can be reduced by more than one-half at the same time as the employee is receiving up to 90 % of his or her regular salary.
  • Employers may reduce their employees’ working hours by 20%, 40% or 60%.
  • 80% reduction in working hours can be applied for, for three months at a time.
  • The salary ceiling for the financial support is SEK 44,000 per month.
  • An employer may receive the financial support for a period of six calendar months, with the possibility of an extension for an additional three calendar months.
Cost distribution for the reduction of working hours

 

Level

Work hours

Salary drop

Employer

Government

Decreased salary costs

1

20

4%

1%

15%

19 %

2

40

6%

4%

30%

36 %

3

60

7,5%

7,5%

45%

53 %

4

80

12%

8%

60%

72%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Conversion aid

Companies that have lost a lot of sales under the pandemic crisis can apply for a so called conversion aid. 

On 22 June, the applications for conversion aid opened. The conversion aid provides support for fixed costs but the company must have lost at least 30% of its sales during March-April 2020 compared with the same months in 2019.

Application for conversion aid is made via the Swedish Tax Agency ("Skatteverket"). The application is complex and must contain a report of the company's fixed costs such as rent, leasing and interest, as well as how much sales have decreased.

Here is the most important information about conversion aid. 

  • The applicant business can only receive support for fixed costs such as rent, leasing and other business-related, fixed costs.
  • The aid does not cover salary costs. 
  • The aid covers, at best, up to 75 % of the company's fixed costs during March and April 2020.
  • In order for the company to be entitled to the support, the company must have had a turnover of at least 250,000 SEK in the last financial year.
  • Like most other types of aid, in the wake of pandemic crisis, the aid does not apply to companies that were insolvent already, reorganized or domiciled in a tax haven.
  • In order to receive the conversion aid, the company must not have decided on a dividend during the period March-June 2020.
  • If the support amounts to SEK 100,000 or more, an opinion from the auditor is required.
  • The support is paid by the Swedish Tax Agency, and their ambition is that the support will be paid out approximately one week after the application has been received.

Public loans 

A government loan-guarantee/security is proposed for small and mid-sized company's financing needs. The security means that the state guarantees 70 % of new bank loans to companies that have experienced financial difficulties due to the coronavirus, but which are otherwise "viable". The security is issued to the banks, which in turn issues loans to the companies. As a general rule, companies may borrow up to 75 million SEK. Companies apply for utilization of the security with a lending bank. Although the proposal is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, there is no formal restriction on size for a company to be able to participate in the program. 

Lowered social-security fees

The Government proposed a temporary reduction in employer contributions during the period 1 March - 30 June 2020. The reduction means that only the pension contribution of 10.21% must be paid (otherwise a total of 31,42%). The reduction is proposed to apply to up to 30 employees per company (regardless of the number of employees in the company) and up to a salary sum of 25,000 SEK per month according to information from the Government Offices. This means that the employer receives a relief of a maximum of 5,300 SEK per employee and month, i.e. a maximum of 159,000 SEK per company and month.

Temporary discount for rental costs in vulnerable industries

It is proposed that companies in vulnerable industries such as hotels, restaurants and retail have the opportunity for temporary rent reductions. The proposal is that the state should bear 50% of the rent reduction and up to 50% of the fixed rent. (see next section for more details) 

Click here for more details.


Is there relief for commercial tenants?

No.

Although there have been demands to restrict landlords' legal remedies against non-paying commercial tenants, no legislation has been enacted. The Swedish government explains its position by referring to the support measures above, and also a temporary rent rebate subsidy – covering up to 50 % of a possible temporary rent settlement between the landlord and tenant (provided the amount is no more than 25 % higher than the original rent).

Claims of force majeure against the landlord are unlikely to be successful because the standard contracts provide only for suspension of the landlord's obligations. There is usually no corresponding provision in which the commercial tenant does not have to perform his obligations in the lease. 

Since it is also in the landlord's own interest that the tenant's business survives, the most practical advice is therefore not to initiate force majeure claims but rather to discuss different types of payment rearrangements of the rent (and to take advantage of the relevant governmental support measures).

 

Local Contacts:

Gabriel Lidman and Ersen Bethersen 

The Netherlands

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

Yes, the Netherlands has introduced a partial lockdown, coined ‘intelligent lockdown’. This includes, among others, the following:

employees are encouraged to work from home where possible;
all people should keep a 1,5m distance from others who do not belong to their households;  and
passengers aged 13 and over must wear a non-medical face mask while using public transport.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

From 1 June lockdown restrictions were eased rapidly. However, as the number of COVID-19 infections has been increasing the government announced on 6 August that it will be supporting local authorities in taking additional action to get coronavirus under control where necessary. This can include introducing extra, local measures in addition to the national measures already in place. The heads of safety regions can now take steps to prevent coronavirus hotspots emerging and to gain control of these local outbreaks. The measures safety regions can take include amongst others:

limiting the opening times of eating and drinking establishments;
introducing behavioural measures such as making face masks mandatory in outdoor locations; and
closing places like parks or shopping centres.

The government also announced that it will also be implementing and strengthening certain nationwide measures.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes, hotels are permitted to be open. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

 Yes, hotels are required to ensure that all people within their hotel can maintain a 1,5m distance from each other. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes, the official advice states that those who can work at home should.

Latest government advice

Government of the Netherlands

(The Dutch version of this advice has already been updated and can be found here.)


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, hotel restaurants/bars are permitted to be open. 

Restaurants, cafés and bars must use reservations (made either in advance or at the door), pre-entry health checks and assigned seating (at either a table or the bar). This applies both outdoors and indoors and regardless of the size of the establishment. Customers must be asked to provide their names and contact details so that the municipal health service (GGD) can contact them if an outbreak is traced to that establishment. Customers can voluntarily provide this information. 

If a GGD traces an outbreak to a leisure establishment, the head of the safety region can close that establishment for up to 14 days.

Discotheques, nightclubs and similar dance venues remain closed for the time being.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes, since 1 July sport clubs and fitness clubs, wellnesses are allowed to reopen, provided that people can keep a 1,5m distance (unless the nature of the sport makes this impossible). 

If a GGD traces an outbreak to a leisure establishment, the head of the safety region can close that establishment for up to 14 days.

Latest government advice

Government of Netherlands

(The Dutch version of this advice has already been updated and can be found here.)


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes, the government provides emergency aid to businesses, including income compensation, (partial) funding of salaries of employees, tax relief and credit facilitation (only available in Dutch).

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

There is currently no relief provided by the government specifically to commercial tenants.

 

Local Contacts:

Roelien van Neck and Tessa van den Ende

UAE

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

  • Depending on Emirate, select public places have reopened with reduced capacity (the exact percentage of restriction differs depending on the nature of the public place and the Emirate).
  • Restrictions preventing large gatherings (precise numbers may vary) are in place.  Restrictions depend on the nature of the public place and the purpose of the gathering.
  • Movement restrictions apply in some Emirates which regulate the movement of people from one Emirate to another.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

No official timeline for the easing of lockdowns have been communicated, however any easing will vary depending on the Emirate.


Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes, with certain capacity restrictions in place depending on Emirate. 

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

In addition, and as with other public areas, masks must be worn by all guests, except when at a designated area of the pool/beach, or when seated at a table in on-site cafés/ restaurants. Temperature checks are in place. Rooms cannot be released to new guests until sanitisation has been completed and a 24 hour period has passed.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

Staff must also wear the required mask and must undergo additional training on cleanliness and sanitisation protocols. Staff must be tested for COVID-19 every 15 days and temperatures checked multiple times per day. 

Latest government advice

N/A


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Tables must be 2.5 meters apart, 4 to a table and menus to be sterilised after use (if not available via app).

As for bars, they are open but customers must remain seated at tables. No standing or mixing is allowed.

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Social distancing measures are in place along with more frequent disinfection measures so opening times may be impacted. Slight differences depending on Emirate.

With respect to gyms, these have reopened. Rules vary slightly depending on Emirate, but reduced capacity, masks to be worn, temperature checks and social distancing are common place. 

Latest government advice

N/A

Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

Stimulus plans are in place for those sectors most affected by COVID-19.  The nature, degree and extent of support varies depending on the Emirate.

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

  • Differs depending on landlord – relief has ranged from deferring rent payments, rent waivers, or waiver of penalties associated with late rent payment. 
  • Commercial tenants struggling to pay rents are exempt from eviction.

 

Local Contacts:

 Melissa Murray, Eddie Chiu, and Renée Nugent

UK

Lockdown status:

Is the country currently in lockdown, and to what extent?

Yes.

The UK has now begun to ease lockdown.

Regarding individuals, the current guidance advises that people should stay at home as much as possible, work from home if possible and maintain social distancing of 2 metres.

Regarding businesses, most businesses are now, or will soon be, able to open (pubs from 4 July, leisure centres and gyms from 25 July, events spaces from 1 August).

The UK has also implemented local lockdowns and will implement these where necessary.

Is there a timeline for easing lockdown, and what is it?

The government has set out plans to slowly open different sectors throughout the remainder of 2020. The government recently announced its intention to return to some level of normality by the end of the year and plans to ease social distancing in October (if all goes to plan).

Hospitality status:

Are hotels permitted to open?

Yes.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement social distancing measures?

Yes.

Social distancing of 2 metres is still the official government position. Many hotels are implementing comprehensive safety measures including temperature checking, hand sanitisation stations, one-way systems and protective screening.

Are hotels required (or have they been advised to) implement any measures in relation to their staff?

Yes.

The official advice states that those who can work at home should. Therefore, administrative staff may prefer to continue to work remotely.

For those who cannot work remotely, the government guidance requires employers implement safety measures to protect staff. This includes increasing availability of hand washing stations, staggering work times to avoid contact, holding meetings remotely where possible and re-arranging common areas to facilitate social distancing.

Latest government advice


Hotel facilities status:

Are hotel restaurants/bars permitted to be open for dining in, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Restaurants were permitted to open from 4 July. Social distancing still applies, so many hotels may choose to restrict to a room-service offering only. Those who offer dine-in facilities will have to implement measures including comprehensive cleaning regimes, enlarged dining spaces, and a lower max capacity.

 

Are hotel leisure facilities (gyms, spas) permitted to be open, and what restrictions are in place?

Yes.

Leisure facilities and gyms were permitted to open from 25 July. However, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the facilities will likely be set up differently from normal. This could include reduced class sizes, implementing a lower max capacity, closure of shower/changing facilities and greater spacing out of equipment. Some hotels have reported they will offer guests the opportunity to book the hotel pool for private sessions only.

 

Latest government advice


Government support:

Is the government providing support to businesses?

Yes.

The government has launched a comprehensive set of measures to support businesses. This includes tax relief, grants, loans and the furlough scheme (which runs until 31 October).

Is there relief for commercial tenants?

Yes.

The usual remedies available to commercial landlords have been severely restricted. Until 30 September, landlords cannot forfeit leases for non-payment of rent; use Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to take possession of tenant goods; issue statutory demands; or present winding up petitions as a result of coronavirus-related hardship.

 

Local Contacts:

Karen Friebe, Alison Pearce, James Salford, Peter Nicholson, and Charlie White