2,200 firms have signed up for the Government's Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), according to the Minister for Finance.

Revenue announced yesterday that the CRSS had opened to registrations, with 700 firms already registered at that point.

The scheme will provide businesses that have had to close temporarily due to Covid-19 restrictions or which have seen their turnover fall to 25% of normal provided with weekly payments of up to €5,000 a week.

Addressing the Dáil at the start of the second stage of the Finance Bill 2020, Paschal Donohoe also said that as of yesterday, 40,800 employers had registered for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.

He also confirmed that 330,000 individuals were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payments this week.

While at the end of September, 70,000 businesses had availed of the Revenue’s tax debt warehousing scheme, with €2.1 billion warehoused, he told the Dáil.

Mr Donohoe said the policies have been an essential lifeline for businesses, families and individuals to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the livelihoods of citizens.

The finance minister said events of the last three weeks have shown that pandemic-related uncertainty will be with us for some time to come but we should not give up hope.

"We have the power to effect change, in relation to Covid-19 and in relation to the economy," he told deputies.

"Neither will be easy but if we all pull together we can overcome the challenges facing us. We confront the pandemic from a position of strength, based on the solid fiscal and economic foundation we have built in recent years."

"We are in a position to borrow today and into the future to fund the unprecedented support being provided to the economy."

Mr Donohoe reiterated his Budget day view that the health of the country and the health of the economy are interdependent.

"We need to continue to strike that balance for now between jobs, income and enterprise on one hand and keeping our people healthy and safe on the other," he said.