State aid: Commission approves €268 million Czech scheme to support operators offering accommodation services affected by coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission has approved an approximately €268 million (CZK 7 billion) Czech scheme to support operators offering accommodation services which had to close their facilities due to the restrictive measure that the Czech authorities had to implement to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support will be provided through direct grants in the form of a fixed amount per room and per day, for the period during which the accommodation facilities are closed, between 22 October 2020 and 31 December 2021. The measure follows a previously existing scheme approved by the Commission on 27 August 2020 (SA.58398), which covered the period between 14 March 2020 and 24 May 2020. The purpose of the measure is to mitigate the sudden liquidity shortages the beneficiaries are facing as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The Commission found that the Czech measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed the limits per beneficiary set in the Temporary Framework; and (ii) aid under the measure can only be granted until 31 December 2021. The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and the conditions of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.61948 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.