LAST week the Government announced the path ahead for the easing of public health restrictions. This week all outdoor retail, personal services, and non-essential retail (for click and collect and in-store appointments) re-opened, and on May 17 all non-essential retail can fully re-open.
To coincide with this Revenue has confirmed that it will operate an enhancement to the Covid Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS), on an administrative basis pending the enactment of the necessary legislation, whereby eligible businesses resuming trading activities can claim a ‘Restart Week’ payment (in effect double the normal weekly CRSS payment rate) for a period of two weeks to assist them with the additional costs of reopening.
For example, a hairdresser who reopened yesterday can claim a ‘Restart Week’ payment, for each of the weeks commencing May 10 and May 17. The amount that may be claimed in respect of each ‘Restart Week’ is subject to the maximum weekly amount payable under the scheme of €5,000.
Businesses who are registered for CRSS and are now resuming their trading activities can make their claim for ‘Restart Week’ payments from tomorrow, via the eRepayments service in ROS. Payment will generally be made within three days of the submission of a qualifying claim.
Where businesses can reopen without having to prohibit or significantly restrict access to their premises, as outlined in the relevant public health regulations, they can claim two ‘Restart Week’ payments to assist with reopening costs but thereafter no longer qualify for CRSS.
Additionally, businesses that can reopen but decide not to do so will not be eligible for CRSS payments (including ‘Restart Week’ payments) for the periods where they choose to remain closed.
Some businesses including hotels, B&B’s, restaurants, bars, gyms, swimming pools, etc. are still required to either prohibit access to their premises or remain fully closed until at least next month. These businesses still qualify for CRSS, and provided all other eligibility conditions are met, can continue to claim payment under the scheme.
As these businesses re-open, in line with public health guidelines, they too can make a claim for two ‘Restart Week’ payments under the scheme to assist them with the costs of reopening. However, thereafter such businesses no longer qualify for CRSS.