State aid: Commission approves €3 million Czech scheme to support tour operators affected by the coronavirus outbreak

The European Commission approved an approximately €3 million (CZK 75 million) Czech scheme to support tour operators which were prevented from carrying out their activities due to the measures that the Czech government had to introduce to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The public support, which will take the form of direct grants, will cover a percentage of the beneficiaries’ 2020 projected revenues. The aim of the scheme is to help the beneficiaries address their liquidity needs and, at the same time, preserve employment and maintain the operation of businesses and the supply of services in the tourism sector, which was severely hit also by the second wave of the pandemic. The Commission found that the Czech scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the support will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) the scheme will run until 30 June 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) TFEU and the conditions set out in 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.60280 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.