The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has warned any easing of coronavirus restrictions next month will be extremely limited.
He told a meeting of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party he expects schools to open in phases, with re-assessment every two to three weeks.
It comes ahead of a Cabinet Sub-Committee meeting on COVID-19 on Thursday, which will inform many of the decisions about what will happen over the coming months.
Last month it was suggested that Ireland could return to a version of level four restrictions after March 5th.
Such a move would allow people to travel within their own counties, and permit outdoor dining for pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Mr Varadkar told TDs and Senators that there was no silver bullet for getting rid of coronavirus, but added that no strategy could be ruled out.
While schools look set to return on a phased basis from March 1st.
Junior and senior infants, 1st class and Leaving Certificate students will likely be the first to return.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier told his parliamentary party close attention will be paid to the re-opening and what impact the new variants will have on it.
It comes as Leaving Cert students are to receive the option of a calculated grade or a written exam in each subject.
Each student will be given a calculated grade for every subject, and the choice of sitting the written exam for that subject.
Whatever the better result is between those two will then be taken towards their final result.
Education Minister Norma Foley has said she hopes as many people as possible will take the physical Leaving Certificate exam.
"All students will receive a calculated grade and students then may choose to take the established Leaving Certificate.
"But I would hope that as many students as possible will take the established Leaving Certificate.
"They have been working towards that goal for the past two years now, and I think it will give students the opportunity really to make the best of themselves really by also taking the established Leaving Certificate exam", she said.
Additional reporting: Jack Quann