Figures from the Department of Social Protection show that more than 19,000 people have applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the past seven days.

In a statement the department said there was a net increase of 10,801 people receiving the payment last week, according to figures published tonight.

It says this partly reflects parts of the country moving to Level 3 restrictions.

The rise in the numbers claiming the payment is the first increase in the figures since the peak of 598,000 was reached on May 5.

8,690 people closed their PUP claim over the same period with 6,309 returning to work.

The greatest increase in PUP recipients was in Dublin with numbers up 10,000 to 85,892. The Department said further increases are expected.

There are now 217,142 people on PUP payments.

4,953 will receive their last payment tomorrow. In total, €61.9m will be paid to PUP recipients tomorrow.

These numbers do not reflect Donegal's move to Level 3 which will appear in next week's figures.

The payment was originally due to be closed to new entrants from 17 September, but that deadline was extended to the end of December. 

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