The Chief Medical Officer is warning that the scale of Covid-19 infections here is beyond the capacity of the contact tracing system.
It comes as Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal became the first counties to enter level 4, as new restrictions came into effect overnight.
A nationwide ban on household visits is also in place in an effort to suppress the virus.
NPHET is predicting that case numbers could reach 2,500-a-day by Halloween.
Dr Tony Holohan says community transmission of Covid-19 is widespread.