All third-level institutions are being asked to provide classes online wherever possible for the next two to three weeks.
With the new semester getting underway over the coming weeks, NPHET has raised particular concerns about the reopening of colleges, universities and other third-level institutions.
Most college and university classes have already been moved online for Dublin, due to last week's move to level three restrictions - with only practical and lab work continuing in person.
However, institutions across the country are now being asked to follow the same advice, and to strictly limit the number of people on campus for now.
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris today said he wishes he could provide more certainty for third-level institutions, but it isn’t possible at the moment.
Minister Simon Harris says all third level institutions will be asked to provide as many classes online as possible over the next few weeks as they start. NPHET particularly concerned about opening of third level pic.twitter.com/zcSG00XmVQ
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) September 25, 2020
He said the advice to colleges and universities for now is that classes and lectures shouldn't go ahead in person unless it's absolutely necessary.
He said: "The colleges are not closing - far from it. But we are asking people to use common sense here.
"If you can provide a lecture online that saves everyone having to trek to another part of the country... please do it.
“This is disappointing, I know, but absolutely necessary if we are to stop the spread of this virus."
In response, the Irish Universities Association says all universities in the country will introduce 'enhanced measures' to limit the spread of COVID-19.
They say on-campus provision will be minimised, with the priority to be for classes and teaching that can only happen on-site.
Some small first-year orientation and induction may take also place on campus, but only on a staggered basis to avoid congregation or large crowds.
All social and club activities on campuses are being suspended until further notice.