Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said he wants to reassure people who have lost their jobs or those who are at risk of losing them because of Covid-19 that the Government will introduce an economic package that will go "well beyond" what they have announced to date.

The measures will be announced in the middle of next week, he said, and will treat everyone equally.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, he added: "It will not separate those who have already lost their jobs from those who might lose their jobs next week."

He said it will provide a guaranteed level of income and "keep employers and employees connected" until we come out the other side. 

Mr Coveney said that the Covid-19 outbreak needs to be taken "deadly seriously".

We need to make sure that Italy's story is not Ireland's story in a few weeks' time, he added.

He also announced plans in relation to the Irish citizens stranded in Peru.

The minister said there is an agreement between Aer Lingus and British Airways to send a charter flight to Lima in the coming days to bring them home.

He said to charter this British Airways flight it will cost around €300,000, but he understands that in this situation, that around 70% of that can be claimed back from the EU. 

Plans now need to be made to ensure that Irish citizens who are in Peru make their way to the capital where they can take this charter flight, he said.

He said around 60 or 70 of the 135 Irish citizens in Peru are mostly backpackers and are in different parts of the country, outside the capital.