On Friday evening, the Gabonese President has announced several public health, social and economic support measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak:
Public Health Measures
- Mass free-of-charge testing of the population and the construction of 60 testing centers;
- Imminent confinement of the Greater Libreville area;
- The immediate injection of funds worth 4 billion XAF for electricity bills and 2 billion XAF for water bills, aimed at low-income Gabonese;
- Freezing of rents for tenants without income during the confinement period (who will be identified in a list to be published soon), and establishment of a support fund worth 2.5 billion XAF to compensate small-scale landlords for the losses incurred;
- Free public ground transportation for all users until further notice;
- Establishment of a redundancy allowance amounting to 50% to 70% of monthly gross salary (excluding bonuses). Low-income Gabonese earning between 80,000 XAF and 150,000 XAF per month will not see any reduction in their wages;
- Establishment of a solidarity fund aimed at creating a food bank. The State will inject funds worth 5 billion XAF for this purpose.
- 50% reduction of the business license tax (patente) and one-time tax (impôt synthétique libératoire) for small enterprises and enterprises providing services to individuals;
- Establishment of an urgent financing desk with a capacity of 225 billion XAF for companies facing cash-flow problems;
- Freeze on payment of debts to banks without any penalty for companies having terminated their operations or in great difficulty due to the COVID-19 crisis;
- Rebate on taxes to local companies which preserve jobs, and act in a solidary and exemplary manner during the COVID-19 crisis;
- Exemption from taxes due on exceptional allowances to employees who will carry out their professional duties during the confinement period.
Further details on these measures and the rules for their implementation are expected to be issued over the coming days.
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