Coronavirus: Restrictions on activities and short-time working: new measures applicable from 26 November until 15 December 2020

01 Dec 2020


Dorothée David

The Law of 25 November 2020[1] in particular modifying the law of 17 July 2020 on the measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic (hereinafter the “Law”) came into force on 26 November 2020.

In particular, the Law stipulates that all the protective and restrictive measures stipulated by the modified law of 17 July 2020 continue to apply up to and including 15 December 2020.

1. New legislative measures relating to economic activities 

In particular, the Law stipulates that the following new provisions apply from 26 November to 15 December 2020 inclusive

  • Closure of establishments serving food or drink

Establishments that serve food or drink, as well as occasional and ancillary activities relating to serving food or drink, are closed to the public.

This closure does not affect school and university canteens, as well as take-away, drive-through and home delivery services.

Accommodation establishments can welcome members of the public, apart from in their bars and restaurants. Room service and take-away services remain open.

For company restaurants and canteens, the FEDIL provided the following information for its members on 26 November 2020:

We have received official confirmation from the Ministry of Health that [company restaurants and canteens] are not affected by this closure. The FEDIL would therefore like to inform you that company restaurants and canteens can remain open.

The Ministry of Health confirmed to us that during the parliamentary debates preceding the vote for the law, an agreement was found to make sure that company canteens can offer a take-away service, similar to restaurants. When a refectory is available, it can be used by employees to eat their take-away meal, as long as health rules are followed. Single-use plates must be used however, to be consistent with a take-away service.

  • Other measures affecting establishments that are open to the public

In establishments that are open to the public, the following activities are prohibited:

  • film screenings;
  • activities available in gyms;
  • activities available in swimming pools and aquatic centres (apart from exceptions stipulated by the Law);
  • activities available in amusement and theme parks;
  • indoor entertainment and games;
  • activities available in casinos;
  • fairs and exhibitions.

In addition, cultural establishments are closed to the public, apart from museums, art centres, libraries and national archives.

  • Sanctions

Breaches of the new measures outlined above by traders, artisans, managers or anyone responsible for these establishments and activities will be liable to an administrative fine of a maximum of 4,000 Euros.

For repeated breaches, the maximum fine will be doubled and the business permit of the company in question may be suspended for 3 months. Any company sanctioned within this context is not eligible for the financial aid introduced to help businesses within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consolidated version as of 26 November 2020 of the modified law of 17 July 2020 is available here.

2. Applications for short-time working during the “partial lockdown”

According to the press release published by the Ministry of the Economy on 26 November 2020, the Economic Committee (‘Comité de Conjoncture’) introduced new procedures on 24 November 2020 applicable to short-time working for businesses that have closed following on from the Law coming into force.

This system allows the businesses in question to benefit from short-time working for 100% of the total number of hours not worked during the actual closure, known as the “partial lockdown”, in other words:

  • from 26 to 30 November and,
  • from 1 to 15 December 2020.

Applications for short-time working during the “partial lockdown” can be submitted from 27 November 2020 until 4 December 2020 inclusive, via an accelerated procedure that can be completed online thanks to an electronic assistant available on

According to the information published on the website, among other things, the following is stipulated:

  • businesses in the Horeca, tourism and events industries continue to be subject to the specific conditions applicable to these vulnerable industries:
  • they are allowed to put all of their employees on the short-time working scheme; and,
  • if there is a demonstrable need, they can make economic redundancy on up to 25% of their employees on an employment contract as of 30 June 2020.
  • businesses that are not in the vulnerable industries mentioned above but that are directly affected by the new measures imposing mandatory closure are authorised, as a one-off, to put all of their employees on the short-time working scheme, but cannot make them redundant.

More detailed information about the procedures in place for short-time working during the “partial lockdown” is available here.


[1] Law of 25 November 2020 modifying: 1° the modified law of 17 July 2020 on the measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic; 2° the modified law of 10 December 2009 on the hospitalisation of people with mental health problems without their consent, published in Mémorial A no. 933 of 25 November 2020.