Pandemic Unemployment Payment to reopen for workers impacted by new restrictions 10 months ago

Pandemic Unemployment Payment to reopen for workers impacted by new restrictions

It comes as the hospitality and entertainment sectors suffered a blow this evening.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has announced that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will reopen for a limited period to support those who lose employment due to the new Covid-19 restrictions.

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Earlier on Friday (3 December), Taoiseach Micheál Martin revealed that nightclubs are to close their doors from Tuesday as part of the latest measures to combat the virus' spread.

Also, as part of the new rules to be introduced next week, strict social distancing will be required in all bars and restaurants, including hotels, with the establishments to revert to the situation in place before 22 October.

That means:

  • table service only
  • there must be one metre between tables
  • a maximum of six adults per table
  • there can be no multiple table bookings
  • masks must be worn when not at the table
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The current midnight closing time remains.

There will also be a maximum of 50% capacity at indoor entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events, which must all be fully seated.

In these venues, face masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking.

In his address to the nation, the Taoiseach acknowledged that many people in the hospitality and entertainment industries will be bitterly disappointed and "fearing for their livelihoods" following the announcement.

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"I want to reassure them that just as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government will stand by them and ensure that they have the financial supports necessary to weather this latest storm and to stay intact until we are out of it," Martin said.

In a statement following the address, Humphreys announced that the PUP will be open for applications for workers impacted by the latest batch of restrictions.

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“My department is finalising arrangements and full details will be announced, and the scheme will be ready for new applicants, by Tuesday," the Minister said.

Speaking to Virgin Media News, Chief Executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland Padraig Cribben said the new restrictions were "very devastating" for nightclubs and late bars.

"They recently got to open for four weeks after being 18 months closed," he stated.

"It's very devastating for them and for the rest of the sector, it is really challenging now with the additional restrictions.

"So, really what we need now is the Taoiseach... to come good on his assertion this evening that they will not be found wanting in relation to supports for the sector."

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