Unemployment payment increased to €350 per week, outdoor social gatherings limited to four people
The Government announced a series of new measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 on Tuesday.
The Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment will rise to €350 from €203 per week, effective this week, the Government confirmed on Tuesday.
Outdoor social gatherings will also be limited to four people and all non-essential retail services will be closed to the public.
The Government will also pay 70% of employee wages up to €410 per week for businesses who are willing to meet the remainder of their staff’s weekly payment.
The first of these payments will be made on Friday, and the self-employed will also be covered.
Rents have also officially been frozen, evictions have been forbidden and Leo Varadkar said that it has been made easier for qualified people to work for the HSE.
Speaking from Government Buildings on Tuesday, Varadkar confirmed that an emergency wage subsidy scheme had been approved by the Government, which will aim to pay 70% of a worker's salary up to a cap of €410 per week.
It will cost the Government "many billions" of euro, according to the Taoiseach.
It was one of many new measures to contain the spread of coronavirus announced by the Government on Tuesday; a summary of the main points can be seen below:
- Private hospitals will be used as public hospitals on a not for profit basis, with each patient being treated equally.
- From midnight on Tuesday (24 March) onwards, all hotels are to limit occupancy to essential stays.
- All non-essential retail outlets are to close to members of the public.
- All essential retail outlets will implement changes to best combat the spread of Covid-19.
- All playgrounds and caravan parks are to close, while organised social indoor events are forbidden.
- The Gardaí will increase interventions when groups are not adhering to social distancing.
- All sporting events are now cancelled, even those behind closed doors.
Speaking on Tuesday, Varadkar said: "We believe we need to do more. We need to flatten the curve... You should only leave home to go to work if you can't work from home and your attendance is essential.
"I know the Irish people will continue to face this head on, and pull through to the other side."
Closing off his speech, Varadkar said: "Four years ago we commemorated the 1916 rising and we celebrated the men and women who helped us win our freedom and independence.
"I never believed we'd be called upon to match their courage or example but today we are. Working together as a country we'll come through this emergency. We'll be tested but we will succeed. Our greatest generation was not in the past and better times are yet to come."