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Returning to a 'normal economy' by gradually lifting bans

A large part of the economy has stalled as a result of the coronavirus. The government has banned certain activities and many companies have voluntarily pressed the pause button. Who decides when we should revert back to 'normal' and how we should go about it?

Wimar Bolhuis

Many companies have closed their doors voluntarily. Ikea, for instance, closed its stores after insistent requests from its employees. How can a chain such as that be persuaded to reopen, while its employees might still be unwilling and customers might still be too afraid to go shopping?

'The government will be able to gradually cut down on the "short-time working regulation" depending on a sector's vulnerability', says Assistant Professor Wilmar Bolhuis in Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (€). Entrepreneurs who are now missing out on all of their usual trade, are reimbursed 90 per cent of the total labour costs. This percentage will go down when trade picks up again. If they are missing out on half of their usual trade, the percentage will be 50 per cent, and if trade is only down by a quarter then it will be 22.5 per cent. 'This means that the government will make an analysis of sectors that are most likely to succeed in recommencing trade and, as a result, make money.' 

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