Five stories you may have missed
The so-called "first phase" to exit the lockdown, which began some four weeks ago, with restaurants, shops and cinemas closing, will be spread over a three-week period, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said at a press conference with Health Minister Paulette Lenert on Wednesday.
With hand sanitiser, masks and other protection gear in short supply, Luxembourg businesses have been changing their products to help source the desperately needed goods to protect against Covid-19.
Difrulux in Breidweiler – which produces eaux-de-vie fruit brandies in quieter times – has already produced 12,000 litres of disinfectant, which it sells to pharmacies, the police, postal workers, and companies who have not allowed their employees to work from home.
The pandemic will reduce real estate price growth in Luxembourg to single-digit levels, but strong fundamentals will keep the market stable, an economist from the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) told the Luxembourg Times.
"The price increase observed in recent years should not be attributed to a housing market bubble, but to demographic growth and a sound economy," Julien Licheron said in an interview. "Even so, real estate will not be spared by the economic effects of the pandemic," he said.
Luxembourg's decision for local administrations to hand out face masks to residents to rein in the spread of the coronavirus, comes just a day after the government criticised communes for doing precisely that.
Wearing a mask will be mandatory as of Monday in places where it is not possible to keep enough distance to others such as supermarkets or on public transport, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said on Wednesday, as he announced the first cautious lifting of some of the country's lockdown measures.
Kersch revealed that €372 million had been paid in short-term unemployment benefits since the country went into a state of emergency four weeks ago, with shops, cafes, restaurants and cinemas closing to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Under the benefit, the government pays 80% of workers' salaries up to a maximum of 2.5 times the minimum wage.
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