SFA make statement about Face Coverings and EWSS

Face coverings
The Department of Health in consultation with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is preparing Regulations to provide for the wearing of face coverings by people using certain premises and businesses. The regulation will be signed into law over the coming days and will come into effect on Monday, 10th August.

The draft Regulations require that persons shall not, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain in a ‘relevant premises’ without wearing a face covering. ‘Relevant premises’ include shops, shopping centres, libraries, travel agents and tour operators, laundries and premises where cosmetic nail care and hair care services are provided.

·         The primary responsibility of the relevant business is not the enforcement but the encouragement, communications and information to the public on the necessity to wear masks in stores. By way of signage, over announcement systems and other means of communications to remind customers of their obligation to wear a mask while in store. An Garda Siochana are the primary body for enforcing laws and regulations.

·         There is no requirement in the regulations to specifically name a ‘Responsible Person’ and understand that due to shift changes and other issues to specifically name someone is impractical from shift to shift

·         While it is preferred that cloth face masks are worn, face shields are acceptable and are usually worn by members of the deaf community or other impaired individuals. A face cover can be removed to facilitate identification. Mask can be removed for eating and drinking in movie theatres but must worn when not consuming food. In a cosmetic and hair setting, masks can be removed when working on the face.

·         Traditional take-away establishments also fall under the regulations.

·         We have sought further information on face covering for consumer entering jewellers.

·         The Department of Health has produced a variety of face covering posters. They are available for download in both English and Irish and in various size formats on the Department of Health website.

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS)

Two weeks ago, the Government announced the introduction of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). The scheme provides a flat-rate subsidy to qualifying employers based on the numbers of paid and eligible employees on the employer’s payroll.

The EWSS will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) from 1 September 2020 and is expected to continue until 31 March 2021. Both schemes will run in parallel from 1 July 2020 until the TWSS ceases at the end of August 2020. Key features of the EWSS are set out here. The legislation is expected to be signed into law shortly.

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