Isabel diving in Spain

Isabel diving in Spain © Divers Cabo de Palos, 2020

Meet Isabel Laguardia. She’s the owner of a diving centre in the Murcia region. The complete and sudden halt to the tourist industry on which Murcia thrives meant that Isabel had to close the centre and put on hold all her plans to employ staff for the usually busy holiday season.

However, not all was lost. Thanks to a new economic support scheme, approved by the EU, the Spanish government was able to quickly offer Isabel a loan so she could stay afloat until diving expeditions were able to resume.

What’s next for Isabel?

The situation in Spain is still difficult. Even after the spring lockdown was over, her diving business was running at two-thirds capacity and her clients had to take many safety precautions. However, she refused to give up.

“There is nothing safer than diving. We cannot hug on land, but we can — and do — hug when we dive because it is safe.”
The Netherlands

The Netherlands

Director of Omring, Jan.

Director of Omring, Jan. © Omring, 2019-2020

Jan Leunis de Beij is the director of Omring, a healthcare company in the northwest of the Netherlands. Thanks to a Dutch government scheme that was quickly approved by the EU during the coronavirus pandemic, Omring received a grant and was able to rapidly respond to the crisis, adapting their business model to invest in e-health.

“We had to respond fast to the crisis, and we needed funding to keep the business viable.”

Many elderly patients and people with underlying conditions needed to stay at home to protect themselves from catching the potentially lethal virus. “Thanks to the subsidy, we could quickly get around 100 tablets to our homecare patients, allowing us to set up modern video technology and digital support so that patients can interact with their doctors and be monitored from the safety of their own homes,” says Jan.

Beyond the pandemic

Omring employee Sharon with home care patients

Omring employee Sharon with home care patients © Omring, 2019-2020

Jan expects that homecare and remote care will become more widespread in the future. The EU will be there to support innovative solutions and to make sure the rules on government subsidies continue to meet real needs during the crisis and on the path to recovery.

“Using these technologies will allow us to provide better and faster healthcare to meet the needs of Europe’s ageing population.”