The Taoiseach says the easing of restrictions after Christmas will likely depend on the Omicron variant.
While COVID-19 cases have stabilised and hospitalisations have fallen, new measures will come into force tomorrow until January 9th.
These included the closure of nightclubs and strict social distancing rules for hospitality.
Micheál Martin says the Government wants more information on the new COVID-19 strain.
He said: "I think we do have to wait to see the outcome of that work - in terms of how infectious it is, and what amount of vaccine escape is there. What protection will the vaccines give us?
"We do really have to wait and be patient in terms of getting a full understanding of Omicron, as that will determine - to a certain extent - the direction of travel."
Scientists have said many questions remain about the new variant, with more concrete data expected in the coming days and weeks.
There have been concerns the new variant could be very transmissible, given the rapid increase in new cases in South Africa - one of the countries where the variant was first detected.
Some international health officials have said there are some encouraging signs about Omicron, with White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci saying it does not look like there's a "great degree of severity to it".
However, officials and scientists internationally have said much more data is needed before any definitive conclusions are drawn.
One case of Omicron has been detected in Ireland so far, linked to travel from southern Africa.
More than 330 cases of Omicron have been detected across the UK so far - including 261 in England and 71 in Scotland.