Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "We are at a tipping point."
He added that a few weeks ago there were just 61 new reported cases for a seven day period but last week there were 533 cases.
The tightening of restrictions comes ahead of the reopening of schools over the next two weeks.
Taoiseach (Irish PM) Mícheál Martin said that if the current rates of COVID-19 continue to rise "it will be impossible to stop the spread of the virus to our most vulnerable and our most compromised".
On Tuesday, a further coronavirus-related death was reported, bringing the Republic of Ireland's total to 1,775.
There were 190 more confirmed cases of COVID-19.