Cabinet is set to sign-off on closing schools and construction sites until the beginning of the February at the earliest.
The Cabinet is will meet today to finalise extra restrictions on the education and construction sectors.
The return of schools had already been postponed this week and they are now expected to be closed until the start of February. Schools for children with special needs are expected to remain open as are creches providing childcare for essential works.
Structure and routine are vital for many children with special needs and a lack of both can cause huge behavioral issues.
The Education Minister, Norma Foley, is also to ask the Cabinet if Leaving Cert students can be exempt from the closure of schools and return to class for three days a week from January 11.
Only essential construction projects are exempt from the closing of building sites. Essential construction projects include social housing, urgent road repairs, urgent roof and utility repairs.
The news of the wide ranging new measures to tackle Covid-19 in Ireland was fueled by a further 5,325 confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday and a further 17 deaths.