Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir says the government is working on further relief measures for companies and artists who are suffering financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vísir reports. On Friday, the government agreed to extend and increase subsidies to companies that have had to close due because of stricter virus control regulations.
Capital-area businesses such as gyms, bars, nightclubs, hairdressers, and tattoo studios have had to close as authorities attempt to get a recent spike in COVID infections back under control. Per the government’s decision on Friday, businesses will receive ISK 600,000 [$4,352; €3,678] for each employee, every month they have to remain closed. Katrín says this is in response to criticism of the government’s previous COVID subsidies, which primarily benefited small businesses. This new initiative would also benefit large companies as well.
Katrín estimates that if businesses have to remain closed for a month, the initiative could cost the government somewhere in the range of ISK 3-400 million [$2.22.9 million; €1.8-2.5 million]. Tourism-dependent companies obviously make up a large proportion of those that are currently suffering due to reduced international travel and closures. However, Katrín says that the government is also preparing relief packages for musicians and performing artists, the terms of which will be clarified later in the month.