The total number of people infected per positive case is now 1.2 to 1.8, chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “It is the right thing to do — to press the pause button.”
But leading Cork publican Benny McCabe has said it “would be safer to have all the pubs reopen than to have all these house parties going on”.
Social visits to people’s homes will remain limited to a maximum of 10 visitors from no more than four other households. Restrictions on indoor gatherings to 50 and outdoors to 200 will remain until August 10, Mr Martin said.
That will come as a set back to facilities like theatres and cinemas.
Cork publican and VFI chair Michael O’Donovan said although public health is of the “utmost importance”, the delay could “spell disaster” for many of his colleagues.
Face coverings will also become mandatory in shops and other indoor public spaces.
Mr Martin said his main priority was to reopen schools in September then resume non-Covid health services as quickly as he could.
One of the publicans who had ordered stock and put work into preparing his pub for reopening was West Cork councillor Danny Collins, who owns the Boston Bar in Bantry.