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Uruguay

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 28 October, 2020

General Information

Uruguay has been under declaration of a health emergency since March 13, 2020. Since then, various measures have been taken to face the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

Special unemployment benefit scheme (extension until 12/31/2020)

  • By Resolution No. 143/2020 of 03/18/2020, the Ministry of Labor created a special regime of Unemployment Subsidy for certain sectors of activity, which was later extended to all employees of private activity who provide paid services to third parties (without prejudice to some specific exclusions), whose amount of the subsidy is equivalent to 25% of the monthly average of the nominal remuneration received in the 6 months prior to the cause of protection of the subsidy calculated in proportion to the period covered by the subsidy.
  • Said regime has been extended by various resolutions, the last one was Resolution No. 863/020, which makes a new extension until December 31, 2020, providing that for the purposes of calculating the amount of the corresponding benefit, it will be considered, from the month of position September 2020, the average of the monthly salaries of the six full months of effective work prior to the configuration of the cause of unemployment benefit and for the respective activity.

MTSS Resolution No. 54/2020 of 03/19/2020

Prevention and control measures:

  • communication to workers: information with the characteristics and risks of the disease produced by the COVID-19 virus must be put up in a visible place; they must contain the description of said disease included in the MTSS Resolution.
  • provision of hygiene materials in the workplace: In order to comply with control, prevention and action measures issued by the Ministry of Public Health, it is necessary to distribute alcohol and means of personal protection such as gloves for those activities in which workers have direct contact with the public.
  • use of masks: The utilization of masks is recommended only in those cases in which there is direct contact with someone suspected to have the virus infection or the presence of coughing or sneezing. Its use can be considered for those jobs in which there is close and frequent contact with other people
  • workplace and work equipment sanitation: all workplaces and work equipment must be cleaned and sanitized; surfaces such as desks, tables, doorknobs, handrails and objects such as phones and keyboards must be sanitized with disinfectant frequently.
  • personal items: such as mate, bottles, cutlery and dishes must only be for exclusive use and not be shared with others.
  • ventilation equipment: maintenance and cleaning of such equipment (such as hand dryers, air conditioning and ventilation) must be rigorous as well as the hygiene and ventilation of reduced spaces.
  • hand hygiene: all those who are working must be indicated to wash their hands frequently with soap and water or to use alcohol gel. Given that hand hygiene is the main measure of prevention and control of the infection, there must be informative signs and posters about it in visible places.
  • instruments for hand washing and disinfection: supplies for washing and disinfecting must be ensured, guaranteeing the continuous replenishment of soap in restrooms and kitchens.
  • alcohol dispensers: alcohol dispensers must be placed in visible spots (counters, clock in devices, lunchrooms, general public services offices), ensuring their frequent replenishment.
  • respiratory hygiene: indication that when coughing and sneezing, one must cover their mouths and noses with the elbow crease or with a tissue, having to place visible signs and posters related to respiratory hygiene measures.
  • home office organization: work organization must be determined, between workers and/or the public, maintaining a distance of at least one and a half meters.
  • concentration of people: avoid concentrations of people in all workplaces ensuring the minimal amount of people possible.

HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL REGISTRY (PUBLIC HEALTH MINISTRY) AND INCOME FOR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE

Law No. 19.873 and Decree No. 131/020: Registry for healthcare personnel exposed to COVID-19 and treated patients and consideration of COVID-19 as an occupational disease

Registry for personnel exposed to COVID-19

It will be carried out by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) and it will contain information corresponding to doctors and non-doctors (including the cleaning staff and other related services) who directly or indirectly participate in the treatment process in private healthcare institutions and are exposed to the infection of COVID-19. It will also contain information corresponding to patients treated by said doctors.

Institutions included must send the MSP a daily update of all employees and patients treated by those in risk of infection or that are affected by the coronavirus COVID-19 disease.

Coronavirus COVID-19 as an occupational disease

  • Coronavirus COVID-19 will be considered an occupational disease during the National Health Emergency declared by the Executive Branch, for healthcare personnel that meets the following requirements:
    • directly or indirectly participates in the treatment process (doctors and non-doctors);
    • performs tasks related to treatment in private institutions, in the Comisión de Apoyo y el Patronato del Psicopáta (Psychopath Support Commission) , or is part of the personnel of companies hired by the referred institutions;
    • is included in the dispositions of Law No.16.074 of 10.10.1989
  • The State Insurance Bank (BSE) will pay the temporary income during the disease: i) with a maximum limit of 45 days, ii) with a maximum limit in the calculation basis of 10 national minimum monthly wages.
  • If the beneficiary receives a compensation from any other insurance that does not cover 100% of the salary, the difference will be covered until 100% of the salary or the maximum limit are met, whichever happens first.
  • Healthcare and its cost, in every case, will be the responsibility of the corresponding healthcare provider.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

Directed Credit Program (National Development Agency)

  • It is a financial support for MSMEs with financial difficulties, it consists of loans for working capital and favorable conditions for the refinancing of debts. The Groups currently assisted are: i) Working Capital - Post COVID-19; ii) Capital for investment - Post COVID-19; iii9 COVID-19 Tourism Sector and event rooms; iv) Reprofiling of the debt of MSMEs affected by COVID-19; v) Program to support investments with positive environmental impact - Green Financing; vi) Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program of the Salto - Paysandú - Río Negro region

Other measures and sources

Executive Power Decree No. 195/2020 of 07/15/20. Requirements for people, whether nationals or foreigners, to enter the country by any means, air, sea or land, regardless of the cause of entry.

People, whether nationals or foreigners, who intend to enter the country by any air, sea or land means, regardless of their cause of entry, must complete an affidavit that will include data related to the person entering the country, such as, manifestation of absence of symptoms and of contact with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to entering the country, under the corresponding administrative and criminal responsibilities.

Every person upon entering the country must:

a) Undergo temperature control at the point of entry;

b) Use a face mask in the opportunities of contact less than two meters away with other people;

c) Accredit a negative result of the SARS CoV-2 virus detection test (by molecular biology technique PCR-RT or diagnostic techniques approved by the Ministry of Public Health), carried out no more than 72 hours before the start of the test. travel (provided the passenger is in transit), in a laboratory authorized in the country of origin or transit. In the event that the entry to the country is through a means of commercial passenger transport, the accreditation of the negative test must be carried out prior to boarding with the corresponding Company. Minors under 6 years of age are excepted, being subject to the rest of the sanitary measures established in this Decree;

d) Have health coverage in Uruguay;

e) Comply with the mandatory preventive social isolation for a period of 7 (seven) days, having to perform a new test according to literal c) on the seventh day of stay in the national territory or extend the mandatory preventive social isolation for seven more days, reaching the fourteen days from entering the country.

f) To comply with the contagion prevention measures that the health authority determines.

Without prejudice, the Executive Power may authorize other expenditures or income to the country in an extraordinary way, provided that the people comply with the special sanitary measures that the competent authority determines.

Exhort yourself not to use means of collective transport from the point of entry to the country to the place of destination, where the mandatory preventive social isolation will be carried out. Likewise, people who enter the country are encouraged to download the Coronavirus UY health information application.

Main sources of information:

Recovery Plan Overview

Uruguay does not have a general recovery plan, but rather specific sector support measures. The most relevant ones are detailed below.

Main measures

Directed Credit Program (National Development Agency)

It is a financial support for MSMEs with financial difficulties, it consists of loans for working capital and favorable conditions for the refinancing of debts. The Groups currently assisted are: i) Working Capital - Post COVID-19; ii) Capital for investment - Post COVID-19; iii9 COVID-19 Tourism Sector and event rooms; iv) Reprofiling of the debt of MSMEs affected by COVID-19; v) Program to support investments with positive environmental impact - Green Financing; vi) Dairy Sector Competitiveness Program of the Salto - Paysandú - Río Negro region.

Tax due dates

Various resolutions have extended tax due dates during the year 2020. The last one in force was Resolution 1898/020 of the General Tax Directorate, which extends the due dates of business income tax advances, Wealth Tax and Tax Control of the Public Limited Companies, from the month of September 2020, which may be paid in the month of December, for certain companies whose sales, services and other gross income from the previous year had generated taxable income for an amount that does not exceed the UI 6,000,000. It does not include Large Taxpayers.

Special unemployment benefit scheme (extension until 12/31/2020)

By Resolution No. 143/2020 of 03/18/2020, the Ministry of Labor created a special regime of Unemployment Subsidy for certain sectors of activity, which was later extended to all employees of private activity who provide paid services to third parties (without prejudice to some specific exclusions), whose amount of the subsidy is equivalent to 25% of the monthly average of the nominal remuneration received in the 6 months prior to the cause of protection of the subsidy calculated in proportion to the period covered by the subsidy.

Said regime has been extended by various resolutions, the last one was Resolution No. 863/020, which makes a new extension until December 31, 2020, providing that for the purposes of calculating the amount of the corresponding benefit, it will be considered, from the month of position September 2020, the average of the monthly salaries of the six full months of effective work prior to the configuration of the cause of unemployment benefit and for the respective activity.

Updating of criteria in the investment promotion regime

By Decree No. 268/020 of September 30, 2020, it updates the criteria for investment promotion within the framework of Law No. 16,906 (Investment Law), its most salient aspects are:

  • The ceiling for exemption from corporate income tax rises from 60% of the tax payable to 90%. In turn, an exemption for an amount equivalent to 100% of the invested amount may be applied each year.
  • The minimum exemption term is raised from 3 to 4 years.
  • The exemption from corporate income tax, measured as a percentage of the eligible investment, will be determined based on a score assigned in a new matrix of indicators that will be published by the Application Commission (COMAP).
  • The commitment period for compliance with indicators is reduced from 5 to 3 years.
  • In addition to the Business Income Tax exemption, the following exemptions may be applied: Wealth Tax for the entire useful life for movable property and for 8 years for real estate (10 years if it is in the interior); import duties and taxes on goods not competitive with the national industry; Refund of the Value Added Tax associated with civil works, as well as personal property acquired in the market.
  • In the event that when presenting the project there are investments executed, the 20% limit established by Decree 143/018 is eliminated. In turn, the period allowed for executed investments is made more flexible, which will become the maximum between the last 6 months and the period elapsed since the beginning of the project presentation year.

Contact us

Tax: Gustavo Melgendler – gmelgendler@kpmg.com
Legal: Alicia M Seijas – aliciaseijas@kpmg.com