Ireland brings back pandemic unemployment support as restrictions increase

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, the government has reintroduced several measures to limit the spread of the virus. [EPA-EFE / AIDAN CRAWLEY]

Ireland has brought back its Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for those who lost jobs due to the reintroduction of restrictions.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant, the government has reintroduced several measures to limit the spread of the virus.

These include the closure of nightclubs, greater social distancing in bars and restaurants, and more stringent limits on the number of attendees allowed at live events.

The government’s Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme gave employers a stipend to cover their workers’ pay during the pandemic. It was scaled back last week as part of plans to relax restrictions, but this has been halted following recent events.

However, the reinstatement of restrictions has led to calls from the hospitality sector for more government support.

“I know many workers will be worried tonight”, tweeted Heather Humphries, Minister for Social Protection. The Department of Social Protection, she added, would work on the reopening of the PUP scheme “as a matter of urgency.”

She added that her department “will work on this as a matter of urgency, and full details will be announced in the coming days.”

(Molly Killeen | EURACTIV.com)

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