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Top-up 1.6m people on Pandemic Unemployment Payment to get Christmas bonus tomorrow

In order to be eligible, people must have been on the PUP for one or more days between November 27 and December 3, and also have been in receipt of PUP for 17 weeks previously.

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Around 1.6 million people across the country are to receive their Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) Christmas bonus tomorrow.

In this morning’s government press conference, the Assistant Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach - Liz Canavan - announced the details of the bonus.

In order to be eligible, people must have been on the PUP for one or more days between November 27 and December 3, and also have been in receipt of PUP for 17 weeks previously.

“The bonus payment equates to an extra week’s payment,” Ms Canavan said.

She also discussed travel during the winter holidays, and urged people to only come to Ireland if absolutely necessary.

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Liz Canavan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Liz Canavan (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Liz Canavan (Brian Lawless/PA)

“I know this is a difficult message,” she said. “Visiting family for Christmas may be genuinely important for some people. But please think if this is an essential journey, this year, at this time.”

“We understand completely that there will be cases where this travel is essential, but we are asking most people who can to skip a year this Christmas, and come back next year instead.”

She added that it already appears that many people are following this advice, as air travel passengers are expected to be down by 90pc when compared to this time last year, and ferry travel passengers are similarly down by 60pc.

If people do decide to travel home for Christmas, they are expected to restrict their movements - particularly if they are coming from a “red” Covid-19 hotspot country.

“They shouldn't be meeting people outside of the immediate household where they’re staying,” Ms Canavan said. “They definitely shouldn’t be going out and about on house visits or to restaurants.”

“So it won’t be a normal visit, and perhaps a different time will be a better choice.”

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