General overview

Ireland is currently seeing restrictions in day-to-day life. On 12 March, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) announced that until 29 March all schools and colleges were to close, mass gatherings of 100 people or more (indoor) should be cancelled, and that all state-run cultural institutions will close.

On 24 March, the Taoiseach announced that these emergency measures should be extended until at least 19 April. He introduced further restrictions and closed all non-essential retail outlets as well as theatres, gyms, hairdressers and other leisure services. Citizens are encouraged to stay at home and only leave for essential supplies, medical reasons or to exercise. Restaurants and cafes remain open but for delivery or takeaway only.

Economic situation

Government and business response

The Irish Government has launched a package of support measures for businesses affected by COVID-19.

  • €200 million in funding available for eligible impacted businesses under the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) Covid-19 Working Capital Loan scheme. Loans up to €1.5 million will be available with up to the first €500,000 unsecured. The maximum interest rate for these loans is 4% and loans are for terms of up to 3 years. Businesses can apply via the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland's website. Details about the eligibility of this scheme are being finalised and the website will be updated accordingly.

  • Wage subsidy scheme – The government will pay 70% of employee wages for businesses that have seen a 25% of greater decline in turnover (up to €410 per week).

  • Enterprise Ireland has introduced a €200 million Package for Enterprise Supports, including a Rescue and Restructuring Scheme for vulnerable but viable firms that need to restructure their business.

  • As of 20 March, commercial rates payments will be deferred for the most immediately impacted businesses (such as retail, leisure, hospitality) for three months until the end of May. This will be implemented by each local authority in its own area. You can read more about this deferral here.

  • Unsecured funding for SMEs of up to €1 million is available for terms of up to 7 years under the Credit Guarantee Scheme. Loans are available from AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

  • A Short Time Work Support is available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection as an income support payment to help employers and employees during periods of temporary difficulty.

Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices provide a number of other business-related support, grants and funds.

Advice to exporters

In terms of immediate activity, make the safety and well-being of teams your priority, and invest as needed to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Many businesses are still allowing employees to work from home where this is possible. Check in with your business partners and see how they are doing and how you might be able to support them during this time. 

Business operations

Government and business response

The Irish government has provided guidance to employers on COVID-19, available online here. The Government is urging employers to support their employees and continue to pay those who cannot attend work.

The govt has introduced an Employer Refund Scheme for companies that are not able to make a wage payment to staff. Companies are asked to keep their employees on the payroll and pay them an amount of €203. Revenue will refund this payment. Read more about this scheme here.

Income supports exist for employees for any COVID-19 related absence or temporary lay off from work.

Additional information

Enterprise Ireland has published a Business Continuity Checklist for businesses preparing for Covid-19 that covers business issues to address, measures to underpin continuity, and how to respond to workplace risks.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
MFAT Export helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Ministry of Health

Global agencies

World health organisation (WHO)
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.