The heads of the parties forming the coalition in Germany agreed on 25 August 2020 (yet to be approved by the government and parliament):
- For companies (including temporary employment agencies) that have introduced short-time work until 31 December 2020, the short-time work benefits are extended up to 24 months but no longer than 31 December 2021.
- The facilitated requirements for short-time work apply until 31 December 2021, provided that short-time work is introduced by 31 March 2021.
- Full social security contributions are reimbursed to companies until 30 June 2021. After that, social security contributions might only be reimbursed proportionally / depending on e.g. qualification measures.
- The following remains in force until 31 December 2021:
- Increased short-time work benefits
- Tax benefits for employer contributions to short-time work allowance.
- Parents can receive continued payment for 10 days (single parents 20 days) per child in the event that their children in need of care become ill. This period is increased by 5 days for 2020 (10 days for single parents).
Federal and State resolutions from 27 August 2020:
- No further relaxation of Corona measures. The key measures of minimum distance of 1.5m and mouth-and-nose covering in in certain public places are maintained.
- Major events remain prohibited until 31 December 2020. Private parties are restricted (e.g. minimum distance; details are regulated by the federal states).
- Except for Saxony-Anhalt, minimum fines (at least EUR 50.00) for violations of the mask obligation will be introduced in all federal states
- Quarantine obligation for travellers returning from risk areas (for more details see next point)
New rules for travelers returning from risk areas:
- Since August 8, testing has been mandatory for travellers returning from risk areas, irrespective of whether the trip was for tourism or business purposes. Current data on risk areas and travel warnings can be found at the website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Tests are free of charge and can be done eg at the airport / various border crossings. Until the test result is received, the traveller must remain in quarantine.
- On 27 August 2020 the German Federal Chancellor and the Prime Ministers of the German Federal States decided that a 14-day quarantine obligation applies to those entering from risk areas, regardless of the travellers nationality or the purposes of the trip. Temporarily the obligation to test remains unchanged. However, as of September 15, tests will no longer be free of charge for those entering from non-risk areas. A shortening of the quarantine period is possible with a negative corona test result. This test can be performed at the earliest five days after entry.
- The prime ministers and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel are also planning to change the law regarding financial compensation for loss of earnings during quarantine. According to this travelers who knowingly travel to a risk areas will not receive a financial compensation during quarantine.
New SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety rule
- It specifies occupational health and safety measures during the pandemic. Therefore, the supervisory authorities of the Federal States can base their decisions on protective measures in the companies on a uniform basis.
- The scope of application includes all areas of the economic life. The aim is to reduce the risk of infection for employees and to prevent new infections in everyday business life. Distance, hygiene and mouth and nose protection remain the most important instruments for this purpose.
- Companies that implement these proposed technical, organizational and personal protection measures can be assumed to act in a legally compliant manner.
- Support for Clubs and live music venues: Clubs and live music venues are hard hit by the effects of the Corona pandemic. Through the future package " Restart Culture", the German government is supporting the community with 27 million euros. The program "Preserving and strengthening the music infrastructure in Germany" is aimed at operators of small and medium-sized live music venues and clubs where live performances are held.
- Support for book publishers and bookstores: The German government also supports book publishers and bookstores with 20 million euros from the Future Program "Restart Culture". Publishers can apply for printing and production cost subsidies of up to 10,000 Euro for a new publication through the " Restart Culture" program. Bookshops can apply for grants of up to 7,500 Euro per bookshop to digitalize their distribution channels. For the book industry as a whole, a total of 25 million Euro is foreseen in the aid package, four million Euro of which alone are intended for holding the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020.