The State of Emergency that was first declared on 16 March 2020 by the President, ended on 14 May. The next day however, the National Committee for Emergency Situations declared a National State of Alert, which was supplemented by new legislation on measures that can be taken during the State of Alert.
The National State of Alert, first declared on 15 May 2020, will continue for an additional 30 days, beginning on 18 May.
During the State of Alert, some of the restrictions that were in place during the State of Emergency are preserved. Freedom of individual movement within the city and metropolitan area is no longer restricted; however traveling between cities and metropolitan areas remains limited to specific cases, including professional interest. It is important to note that new safety rules for traveling were introduced on 16 May 2020.
Some of the activities that were previously suspended during the State of Emergency shall resume. Restaurants and bars, including those in hotels and those which are organised in open spaces, will stay closed. Professional athletes may recommence their training, albeit under strict limitations. Certain individual outdoor activities will be allowed, however indoor activities in fitness facilities are still prohibited. Moreover, select cultural events will resume under the State of Alert.
The Labour Minister and the Health Minister have issued a joint order regarding the obligations that employers will have during the State of Alert, what actions are to be taken in case an employee is suspected of contracting the virus or has tested positive for COVID-19.
The joint order further stipulated the obligations that employees are to have regarding their own health and safety, and introduced additional rules for open-space offices and other specific activities.
During the State of Alert, the employer may still issue work-related decisions from home; however, the employee’s consent is now necessary. Under similar conditions, the employer has the option to change the place where the employees are to perform their occupational activities.
Collective agreements will continue to be enforced during the State of Alert, and for an additional period of 90 days after the State of Alert ends. Collective negotiations will commence within 45 days from the date when the State of Alert will end.
Schools will not reopen until fall. Students in their final years (8th grade and 12th grade) will participate in a two week program in order that they may prepare for their exams, which will nevertheless take place under strict social distancing rules. Parents can still benefit from paid time off for taking care of their children under the age of 12, until what would have been the end of the school year, so as of 12 June 2020.
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