The Cabinet is expected to tighten restrictions in Dublin following a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
The capital will move to Level 3 in the new five-point plan aimed at curbing increasing cases of Covid-19.
Further restrictions will be imposed in Dublin from midnight.
The final decision is set to be taken by Cabinet this afternoon following a sub-committee meeting this morning.
It will see Dublin moving to Level 3 in the Living with Covid-19 plan.
That means people will have to stay within the county and people will only be able to travel to and from the capital for essential work and education.
Indoor dining will be prohibited and restaurants and pubs that serve food can only operate if they have out door areas or serve take away, subject to a final decision by Cabinet today.
Pubs that do not serve food will not be permitted to open in Dublin.
Visits between households will also be curtailed, as will numbers allowed to attend weddings and funerals.
Explainer: What does Level 3 mean?
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Minister of State at the Department of Higher Education Niall Collins has said “sacrifices and hard decisions have to be made in the wider public interest” to curtail the increase in Covid-19 cases.
Speaking on RTÉ Prime Time last night, Mr Collins said while he is not in a position to pre-empt what decisions will be made by the Government, he said “measures are going to be have to be taken and decisions will follow tomorrow that have been flagged for the last number of weeks”.
He said “we unfortunately will have to move, I think the indications are, to bringing in further restrictions in Dublin and possibly in other parts of the country”.
Significant pressure at some Dublin hospitals – HSE
HSE Chief @paulreiddublin tells @MorningIreland “Right now the hospitals are coping … but we will see our hospital system coming under pressure” and it “doesn’t take a large number of cases to start freezing wards and beds” | https://t.co/hASabbWpsV pic.twitter.com/T2gedi1Rl4
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 18, 2020
The chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, has said that some Dublin hospitals are starting to come under significant pressure as demand increases .
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Reid said it is a decision for Government as to whether Dublin will be put on an increased level of alert.
However he said unless we take it very seriously now we would be heading towards a more widespread lockdown.
RAI warns restrictions could affect 50,000 jobs
Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, has said the possibility of shutting down indoor dining has “come out of the blue” and with no consultation with the sector.
Also speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said it appears their industry is being “singled out” and they had no indication this was coming down the tracks for the restaurant sector.
He said there was no consultation or advice given to them that effectively a “hospitality lockdown” was being proposed to Cabinet.
“We are in shock. We are not the problem.The problem is in households,” Mr Cummins said.
He said is seems that the Government is going after the hospitality industry and targeting a sector with the least amount of cases.
“Effectively you are telling our industry to close down as of midnight tonight if cabinet sign off on this.”
He said up to 50,000 jobs in Dublin could be affected if the restriction is introduced.
Mr Cummins said it is about livelihoods of workers, business owners and that the Government “cannot keep switching on and off” their industry without prior consultation
“If it does go ahead, then an emergency aid package must be in place for our industry as these businesses have banks looking for loan repayments and suppliers looking for money.”
He said the industry is already in crisis and the Government needs to step up to the plate.
He said allowing restaurants to continue with takeaway is not enough as “it is not profitable or viable for business”.
He said he hopes there are modifications to the proposal today.