NPHET will meet this morning to consider whether the country should exit Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions next week.
The meeting is taking place a day earlier than usual, with Cabinet set to consider its recommendations ahead of an announcement tomorrow or Friday.
It's expected Ireland will move to a modified level 3 next week with retail reopening - however, hotels and restaurants will be later in the month, and wet pubs will stay closed.
The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said a third lockdown may be needed in January because of celebrations over Christmas.
Professor of Public Health at UCC, Patricia Kearney, says government must work out how that can be avoided: