2020 is over, the Covid Crisis is not. And as a beacon of democracy has been severely shaken in Washington D.C. two weeks ago, it becomes more important than ever to bridge the gaps in society. Instead of joining radical protests and conspiracy theories offline and online, we need to radically collaborate for our common future on this planet. While these are big words, the actual work can be very humble – starting in the local neighborhood, a small two-people project, a new partnership between unlikely allies, it’s in our hands. That’s what Impact Hub is all about. So, let’s look with optimism, energy and commitment into a collaborative 2021.
So even if Impact Hub Basel has to close again after only two weeks in the new year, we will keep our motivation, energy and drive. One key aspect that sets us apart from other flexible workplace offerings is the social role of coworking, which helps protect the mental and physical health of our members, especially in times of crisis. It is therefore more important than ever to focus on the well-being of our community, while respecting the applicable distance and all rules set by the federal and cantonal government. So we urge our community to stay connected and support each other!
Your Impact Hub Basel Team
PS: The infographic and details below show the nationwide rules that apply from Monday, 18 January 2021 to Sunday, 28 February 2021.
NATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL MEASURES
EFFECTIVE 18.01.2021 – 22.02.2021
The number of corona cases in Switzerland is stagnating at a very high level and with the new, much more contagious virus variants, there is a risk of a rapid increase. Even though we are in advance of a third wave and the numbers may not yet reflect the onset, the Federal Council want to take action now to prevent it from hitting us hard. Therefore, they decided on further measures on 13 January 2021.
Extension of Closure
Restaurants as well as cultural, sports and leisure facilities will be closed for another 5 weeks (from previous measures) until the end of February.
Nonessential shops and markets are to be closed. Shops and markets that offer goods for daily use are excluded. It is also possible to collect ordered goods on site. The regulation that shops, petrol station shops and kiosks must remain closed after 7 p.m. and on Sundays can be lifted.
Protection of particularly vulnerable people
People at particular risk are specifically protected. For this purpose, the right to work from home or equivalent protection at work or a leave of absence for particularly vulnerable people will be introduced. For persons at risk in professions in which the protective provisions cannot be implemented, the employer must release the employees concerned from their work obligation with full wages. In these cases, there is a right to Corona income compensation.
Private events and crowds restricted
A maximum of five people are allowed to participate in private events. Children are also counted towards this number. Gatherings in public spaces are also limited to five people.
Requirement to work from home
Employers are obliged to arrange home office wherever this is possible due to the nature of the activity and can be implemented with reasonable effort. The employer does not owe the employee any reimbursement of expenses, for example for electricity or rental costs, since the order is only temporary.
Mask requirement at work
Where home office is not or only partially possible, further measures are taken at the workplace: To protect employees indoors, a mask is required wherever more than one person is in a room. A large distance between workplaces in the same room is no longer sufficient.
Money for affected companies
Businesses that have been officially closed for at least 40 calendar days since 01 November 2020, are now considered hardship cases without evidence of a drop in sales . In addition, decreases in sales that occurred in 2021 can now also be claimed. The upper limits for A-fonds-perdu contributions will be increased to 20 percent of turnover or CHF 750,000 per company.
In detail this means:
- In the event of closure, no proof of the decline in sales is required: Companies that have been officially closed for at least 40 calendar days since 01 November 2020 (in particular restaurants, bars and discos, as well as leisure and entertainment businesses) are now automatically considered cases of hardship. You no longer have to provide proof of a 40% drop in sales.
- Consideration of sales declines in 2021: Companies that suffer declines in sales in the months January 2021 to June 2021 in connection with officially ordered measures to combat the Covid-19 epidemic can now use the sales of the last 12 months instead of the annual sales 2020 as the assessment basis. If the winter season turns out bad, many tourism companies in the mountain areas should also fall under the hardship regulation.
- Dividend ban shortened: The ban on paying dividends or royalties or repaying capital contributions from owners will be shortened to 3 years or until the aid received has been repaid.
- Administrative relief: Closed companies have to provide less evidence than «normal» cases of hardship.
- Upper limits for A-fonds-perdu contributions increased: Cantons can now make contributions of up to 20 percent of annual sales (previously 10%) and up to CHF 750,000 per company (previously: CHF 500,000) for all companies. This should allow companies with high fixed costs to be better taken into account. It can also be used to cover a possible extension of the closings beyond the end of February 2021. The cantons can even increase the absolute upper limit of aid to CHF 1.5 million, provided the owners bring in at least the same amount of fresh equity or lenders waive their claims.
The Federal Council has decided to use the 750 million “Federal Council Reserve”, which Parliament provides in the Covid-19 Act, also for the cantonal hardship programs, thus supplementing the first three medium-sized tranches. However, he does not want to decide on the allocation to the cantons until later.