Business leaders call for immediate supports as 150,000 workers set to lose their jobs in second lockdown

Around 150,000 people are expected to lose their jobs when level five restrictions kick in from midnight tomorrow.

Ireland has become the first European country to enter a second lockdown with all non-essential retail to close.

However, some measures are more lenient than level five was planned – with schools to stay open, 25 people allowed to attend weddings and elite sport including the inter-county GAA season allowed to continue.

People will have to work from home unless they’re an essential worker, and can’t go beyond 5km of their home except in limited circumstances.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has defended the decision not to move to level five two weeks ago when first asked by NPHET.

Chambers Ireland’s calling on government to get cash into the accounts of businesses as soon as possible.

Chief Executive, Ian Talbot, says it’s vital to prevent significant job losses around the country.

A new system of fines for breaching COVID restrictions will also be discussed by Ministers today.

Cabinet will likely give approval to a series of graduated fines for things like breaking the 5km travel limit and not wearing a facemask in certain settings.

The legislation is being given priority status and could come before the Dáil as early as this week.