Ten of thousands of people are expected to apply for a new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment following the closure of the country's pubs and clubs yesterday.
All pubs, clubs and hotel bars were asked to close from midnight last night in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The move has left some 7,000 family businesses with zero turnover and some 50,000 workers with no income.
The new payment is available to all employees and self-employed people who have lost their income because of the outbreak.
There is no need for anyone to visit department or Intreo offices to access the payment.
Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said Ireland is entering “uncharted territory” in terms of public health and the economy.
“In light of the significant volumes of jobseeker applications expected this week, the department will from tomorrow be introducing a new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment specifically designed to get thousands of people into payment as quickly as possible,” she said.
Workers who apply for the payment will be required to apply for normal Jobseeker’s Benefit within six weeks if they have not been able to return to work.
Meanwhile, the Government is urging all businesses to continue paying their staff where possible.
Employers are being asked to pay at least the €203 Jobseeker's rate, which they can then claim back from the Government.