The Cabinet is to consider a request from the National Public Health Emergency Team to stop indoor dining at pubs and restaurants in Dublin.

Given the rise in Covid-19 cases in the capital over the last seven days, senior figures are tonight indicating that Government will agree to the proposal.

It would mean that these pubs and restaurants could only serve customers if they have outdoor areas or offer a take-away service.

The Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said the move would be "a disaster" for his members.

Adrian Cummins said there had been "no prior consultation" with the RAI about such a move.

He said he is "shocked" that stopping indoor dining for a few weeks is being considered given that "the spread of the virus in Dublin is predominantly in households, with very little to almost no cases in the hospitality sector."

He added: "Currently, controlled and regulated environments like restaurants are not the problem, households are."

The Licensed Vintners Association has described the recommendation as "a pick and mix approach" to the measures in the plan for Living with Covid-19.

A spokesperson for the LVA, which represents Dublin publicans, said the proposal would put Dublin city and county at Level 3 of the plan; bars serving food, restaurants and cafes at Level 4; with wet pubs at a level stricter than Level 5.

He also questioned "why is NPHET focusing on the hospitality sector, when the latest data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre shows such a low number of cases linked to bars serving food".

A restaurateur in Dublin has said the hospitality sector is being "thrown to the wolves" by NPHET's recommendation on indoor dining.

Gina Murphy, the owner of Hugo's Restaurant on Merrion Row, said she was "stunned and lost for words".

She said "we can't keep having our livelihoods switched on and switched off".

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time, Gina Murphy said "we are already on our knees, we are down 60%" and she said restaurants are trying to keep people in jobs.

She also said "everything we do is to the letter of the law".

"We make sure people are in a safe environment, we don't allow people to mix across tables or table-hopping," she added.

NPHET has also told the Government that the incidence of Covid-19 amongst health workers in Dublin is rising five times faster than in the rest of the country.

Pubs that do not serve food will not be allowed reopen in Dublin next Monday.

Travel to and from the county is also set to be limited to essential workers and for education reasons.

However, Dublin colleges will be encouraged to offer most tuition online for the next few weeks.

A Wexford hotelier has said the decision to encourage people living in Dublin not to travel to other counties will have "a dramatic effect" across the country.

Bill Kelly, the managing director of Kelly's Resort Hotel in Rosslare, said they will lose between 50% and 60% of customers as a result.

He said "over the last two days, we have lost €45,000 worth of bookings".

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time, Mr Kelly said the restriction on people travelling out of Dublin will present "a very challenging time for the hospitality sector".

And he said "the message last Tuesday was a bit wishy-washy" about whether people could travel or not.