The Taoiseach will brief Opposition leaders at Government Buildings later today on the Cabinet's new plan to increase public health restrictions.
The new measures, which are aimed at reversing the recent rise in cases of the virus, apply to schools, construction, retail and travel.
For the next three weeks, schools will be closed, except for Leaving Cert students, special schools and special classes.
However, childcare services can continue for the children of essential workers and vulnerable minors.
Other measures include the shutdown of non-essential construction from Friday evening, the cessation of click and collect for non essential retail, and a PCR test requirement for visitors coming from Britain or South Africa.
All measures will be reassessed at the end of the month, with an expectation that some, if not all, could be extended into February.
Already opposition parties and teacher unions are expressing grave concerns over the re-opening of schools for Leaving Cert students and for special education. They are asking how it can be safe for both the students and staff in these schools to do so.