Dublin colleges are to carry out most teaching online and suspend all on-campus club activities as the capital looks set to go into lockdown this weekend.
All universities have agreed set measures in response to the impending lockdown with tens of thousands of students having limited access to college campuses.
Some on-campus elements of orientation will still go ahead for first year students but will be on a staggered basis to reduce numbers.
Libraries will remain open but will be subjected to social distancing protocols and entry-registration.
While all colleges will open, on-campus provisions will be minimised with priority given to teaching and learning that can only take place on-site.
This will include teaching and research in laboratories, practical tuition and workshops.
At the request of the Government, social and club activities on campus will be suspended until further notice.
A spokesperson for the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said: "The universities will ensure that all necessary health protection measures are in place and that there will be clear communication to students and staff in this regard.
"This is underpinned by national guidance for the further and higher education sectors and by more detailed implementation guidelines developed by public health experts.
"Outside of Dublin, all other universities are continuing with their plans to re-open and to welcome students onto campus based on their blended learning approach for the coming semester."
The IUA is also collaborating with other sectoral stakeholders and with the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to develop a Covid-19 response Plan to deal with any incidence of Covid-19 that may occur.
Some of the colleges affected include TCD, UCD, DCU, DIT, the RCSI and NCAD.