Government reveals new Hospitality supports

The Government has announced enhanced business support schemes for the hospitality and arts sectors hit by the latest restrictions.

This includes reopening the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to new applicants and a relaxation of the turnover reduction figure for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme scheme to 40%.

There is also an extension of tax warehousing.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar described the supports being announced as 'considerable'.

He said the measures put in place a level of financial support that is similar or better than the support provided to those sectors when Ireland was in a full Level 5 lockdown.

He said the EWSS will be paid at the full rate until January and will now be reopened to businesses that were able to come off the EWSS in recent months.

Mr Varadkar said in certain circumstances the EWSS will be open to new businesses that were not availing of the scheme because they are not doing as well as a result of the current restrictions that are in place.

The Minister for Finance said that firms who previously de-registered can now re-enter in January if they meet certain turnover and entry criteria.

Paschal Donohoe said these businesses must anticipate that their combined turnover for December 2021 and January 2022 is down at least 30% compared to December 2019 and January 2020 combined.

He said this condition applies to all businesses that commenced operations on or before 30 April 2019.

Mr Donohoe said for those who commenced business on or after 1 May 2019, they must anticipate their turnover for this month and January 2022 will be down 30% compared to their combined turnover for August-November of this year.

Bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres must now shut their doors at 8pm.

Mr Varadkar said the CRSS will be paid to businesses that feel they have to close because of the restrictions.

He said restaurants and bars can receive this payment if opening to 8pm does not suit their business model or is not practical and would not cover their costs.

He said if a venue stays open until 8pm but operates to 40% of their turnover or less, then they will also qualify for this payment.

The Tánaiste said there will be an extension of tax warehousing by another three months, which he said will help with cash flow for these businesses.