Newstalk
Newstalk

10.59 13 May 2020


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The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he is more confident now that the country can begin to re-open from next week.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will make a recommendation to Government on Friday.

At the moment outdoor construction work, DIY shops and small outside gatherings will be allowed from next week.

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But Mr Varadkar says that still depends on the figures going in the right direction.

Speaking to Today FM’s Dermot & Dave, he said: "There's always a possibility that may change over the next couple of days, but I don't think so.

"I don't want to raise expectations and then dash them on Friday - but things are going in the right direction and have been now for a few weeks.

"I'm much more comfortable now than I would have been a week ago or two weeks ago".

He also says it is likely the Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended longer than the COVID-19 Unemployment Payment.

Both measures will be extended beyond mid-June, but Mr Varadkar has not been able to say when they will end.

The Government believes the payments are unsustainable in the long-term.

Mr Varadkar says the wage subsidy programme could be around the longest.

"One thing we'll probably do is extend what's called the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme longer than the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"Cause we'll be encouraging employers to take people back on - to transition them from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment to the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

"So when you're offered your job back, if you refuse it you actually lose your Pandemic Unemployment Payment, but your employer will be able to take you back on the Wage Subsidy Scheme".


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COVID-19 Restrictions Covid-19 Leo Varadkar Lifting Restrictions Restrictions Taoiseach

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