DUBLIN is on the verge of being plunged into lockdown as Covid-19 case numbers continue to increase.
No official decision has been made yet but the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is expected to encourage government to sanction the move during a Cabinet meeting this afternoon.
An announcement will likely be made on Monday or Tuesday.
Restrictions are expected to last three weeks, and could include things like a limit on the number of people allowed in different households, movement restrictions and facility closures.
Pubs in Ireland have been given the green light to reopen on September 21, but for those in the capital, such a prospect now looks unlikely.
"I think based on the numbers you'd be more confident about seeing pubs in rural Ireland open on the 21st of September, rather than in Dublin," said Leo Varadkar.
Yesterday, 107 out of 196 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Dublin, and the government has warned that unless something drastically changes, strict measures will have to be implemented in the Irish capital.
During Wednesday night's press briefing, both Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn and Professor Philip Nolan warned that Dublin's infection rate needed to drop significantly for the city to avoid major restrictions.
"If nothing changes, if we do not act now to reduce our contacts and to be much more careful in how we manage our essential contacts, the number of cases in Dublin would double every 14 days," Prof. Nolan said.
Dr Glynn added: "We continue to see a concerning pattern of cases, particularly in Dublin."
"Transmission is diffuse across the country, is in all age groups and is mainly being driven by social interaction within and between households."