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Coronavirus - Implications of the lockdown and curfew order part 2 – Mauritius

  • Mauritius
  • Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus - Country overview
  • Coronavirus - Regulatory issues

30-04-2020

On 10 April 2020, the Mauritian Prime Minister announced that the curfew period under the Curfew Order issued by the Minister of Health and Wellness by way of General Notice No. 512 of 2020 under Regulation 14 (1) of the Prevention and Mitigation of Infectious Disease (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (the Infectious Disease Regulations) is extended until 04 May 2020.

The Mauritian Government is currently developing a plan to allow a reopening in stages to limit the possibility of a further wave of Covid-19 cases.

Amendments to the Infectious Disease Regulations

Who are the Additional Exempted Persons?

The Infectious Disease Regulations has been amended by way of Government Notice No. 81 of 2020 effective as from 26 April 2020 to include the following persons as the additional exempted persons who would not require a Permit from the Commissioner of Police and who are found to be outdoors, despite the Curfew Order:

(a) a Judge or Magistrate for the purpose of attending Court;

(b) a barrister or an attorney whose services have been retained by a person to attend a police station, place of detention or Court;

(c) a medical practitioner for the purpose of attending a hospital, private medical institution or patient in need of urgent medical care; and

(d) a pharmacist for the purpose of attending his place of work.

New Financial Measures

The Extended Wage Assistance Scheme

On 17 April 2020, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (the Minister of Finance) announced the Extended Wage Assistance Scheme (the Extended Scheme) to ensure that all employees in the private sector are duly paid their salary for the month of April 2020. The Extended Scheme once again concerns both Mauritians and foreign employees working in Mauritius.

Under the Extended Scheme, a business entity in the private sector is entitled to receive the following assistance:

1. for every employee earning between MUR 9,700 to MUR 25,000, the assistance will be the equivalent of one month’s wages ranging from MUR 9,700 to MUR 25,000.

2. for every employee earning between MUR 25,000 to MUR 50,000, the assistance will be a fixed sum of MUR 25,000.

3. for employees earning more than MUR 50,000, no financial assistance is provided.

Two conditions are attached to be eligible to the Extended Scheme, namely:

1. the employer must have paid his employees for the months of March and April 2020; and

2. the employer must not have laid off even one employee during the curfew period.

The application form relating to the Extended Scheme is available on the following link: https://eservices9.mra.mu/wageassistance/feedformApril.do

The Extended Self-Employed Assistance Scheme

The Self-Employed Assistance Scheme (the SEAS) was announced by the Minister of Finance to provide financial support to those working in the informal sector. Under the SEAS, eligible self-employed individuals were entitled to receive an amount of MUR 5,100 for the one-month period of 16 March 2020 to 15 April 2020.

The Minister of Finance has on 17 April 2020 announced that for the fortnight 16 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, the SEAS has been extended such that an additional amount of MUR 2,550 will be paid to the self-employed individuals.

The Special Relief Amount of the Bank of Mauritius

As part of other Government initiatives, the Minister of Finance had announced that a special relief amount of about MUR 5 billion (the Special Relief Amount) has been made available by the Bank of Mauritius under its COVID-19 Support Programme for which disbursement will be made through commercial banks from 23 March to 31 July 2020. On 17 April 2020, the Bank of Mauritius has announced that the interest rate on advances to impacted economic operators under the Special Relief Amount, which was initially capped by the Bank of Mauritius at the fixed rate of 2.5% per annum, has been reduced at 1.5% per annum.

Price Control on New Products

With a view to protect the interests of consumers against unfair practices and the abuse of certain operators, the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection has introduced price control on several new products, effective as from 25 April 2020, namely adult and baby diapers, basmati and long grain rice, breakfast cereals, butter, spreads and margarine, pasta, processed cheese, pulses, sanitary pads, tampons and towels.

The new price control will apply to all imports cleared from MRA Customs as from 25 April 2020.

The above does not constitute legal advice, but rather recommendations of general application which may change depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Independent legal advice should be obtained before implementing any measure which may impact upon rights and obligations.

For more information contact

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