The Revenue office has confirmed that it will operate an enhancement to the Covid Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS) to help businesses reopen as public health restrictions ease.

From 10 May, all outdoor retail, personal services and non-essential retail (for click and collect and in-store appointments) can resume, while on 17 May all non-essential retail can fully reopen.

Eligible businesses resuming trading activities can claim a 'Restart Week' payment (in effect double the normal weekly CRSS payment rate) for a period of two weeks to assist them with the additional costs of reopening.

For example, a hairdresser reopening on 10 May can claim a ‘Restart Week’ payment, for each of the weeks commencing 10 May and 17 May. The amount that may be claimed in respect of each ‘Restart Week’ is subject to the maximum weekly amount payable under the scheme of €5,000.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, announced the move by Revenue in a post on Twitter.

He confirmed that where 10% of turnover is equivalent to €5k or higher, businesses can avail of a max of €20k. "Asking all businesses to check out eligibility," said the minister.

Businesses who are registered for CRSS and are resuming their trading activities can make their claim for ‘Restart Week’ payments from next Wednesday, 12 May via the eRepayments service in ROS. Payment will generally be made within three days of the submission of a qualifying claim.

Where businesses can reopen without having to prohibit or significantly restrict access to their premises, they can claim two ‘Restart Week’ payments to assist with reopening costs but thereafter no longer qualify for CRSS.

Additionally, businesses that can reopen but decide not to do so will not be eligible for CRSS payments (including ‘Restart Week’ payments) for the periods where they choose to remain closed.

Some businesses including hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, bars, gyms, swimming pools, etc are still required to either prohibit access to their premises or remain fully closed until at least next month.

These businesses still qualify for CRSS, and provided all other eligibility conditions are met, can continue to claim payment under the scheme.