(ČIA) UPDATE - On April 1, 2020 the government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) approved a proposal to declare a moratorium on the payment of loans and mortgages. Debtors from the ranks of individuals and companies will be able to choose an interruption of payments for three or six months. Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (for ANO) stated that following approval by the Parliament of the Czech Republic and coming into effect the measure will be binding for all banks and non-banking companies. The deferral of payments will be voluntary and no fees will be tied to it. In reaction to the government decision, the Czech Banking Association stressed that the legislation only allows for deferral of payments for those clients who have suffered negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.