The Government has confirmed new support measures for the hospitality sector, including the reopening of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) for businesses impacted by the latest COVID 19 restrictions.

The EWSS is open for businesses who were previously on the scheme, as well as other businesses under certain conditions.

The new measures are in addition to the previously announced restoration of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) scheme.

The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) is available to all businesses, including pubs and restaurants that are closed altogether as well as businesses that choose to remain open until 8pm. Businesses whose turnover is less than 40% of their 2019 earnings are also eligable. The CRSS will be available until end of January 2022.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the package agreed by Cabinet is targeted for the hospitality, arts and entertainment sectors “who will be most affected by the most recent restrictions”.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has broadly welcomed new supports. VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “While we welcome Government’s new support package for the hospitality trade, it’s important to state that publicans would prefer to be fully open and trading during what is usually the very busy Christmas season. Our members are shocked by what has happened over the past week so these supports are the very least they can expect.”

President of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF), Elaina Fitzgerald Kane thanked the Government for their recognition of the severity of the challenges now facing the sector due to ongoing restrictions, saying the supports announced will be crucial for businesses throughout the country as they face into an uncertain 2022.

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