New measures announced to tackle Covid-19: Here are the main points

New measures announced to tackle Covid-19: Here are the main points
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 

Mr Varadkar said 'we need to do more' to stop the spread of the virus and to compensate people affected. 

All existing restrictions that were announced previously are extended until Sunday, April 19.

The new measures include:

  • Only go to the shops for essential items.
  • People can go outside for physical activities.
  • No gatherings of more than four people, unless from the same household.
  • From midnight, theatres, club, gyms/leisure centres, hairdressers, betting shops, marts, markets, casinos, bingo halls are to shut.
  • All cafes and restaurants should limit supply to takeaways and deliveries only.
  • All non-essential retail outlets to close.
  • Increased presence of rangers and gardaí in parks.
  • Hotels to limit occupancy to essential non-social and non-tourist business.
  • All sporting events cancelled.
  • All scheduled cruise ship travel to Ireland not going ahead.
  • All places of worship to restrict numbers entering at any one time.
  • All crowded places, including public amenities, should be avoided.
  • All organised social indoor or outdoor events of any size are not to take place.
  • All holiday/caravan parks to close.

Financial measures

  • A temporary wage subsidy of 70% of take-home pay up to a maximum weekly tax-free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees. This is the equivalent of €500 per week before tax.
  • Workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203) 
  • The Covid-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week 
  • The self-employed will be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 
  • Enhanced protections for people facing difficulties with their mortgages, rent or utility bills it follows from a range of supports already in place to help business through the crisis 
  • An eligible employer will be supported up to 70% of an employee’s take-home income up to a maximum weekly tax-free payment of €410 (i.e. 70% of take-home weekly income of €38,000 per annum).
  • The scheme will provide support on incomes up to €76,000 or twice average earnings. It will be capped at net €350 for incomes between €38,000 and €76,000.
  • The employer is expected to make best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period.

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