Minister Simon Coveney says he expects most but not all COVID-19 restrictions will be eased on Friday.
NPHET is meeting this afternoon and will advise Government on what restrictions can be eased in the face of rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalisations.
Senior ministers will be asked for their input, ahead of a meeting of the three coalition party leaders around 8pm.
Cabinet ministers will then decide tomorrow morning what restrictions can be eased on Friday.
Under the reopening plan, almost all remaining legal restrictions are due to lift on Friday - with only limited measures, such as mask-wearing on public transport, remaining in place.
Minister Coveney said he still thinks there to be a significant change, but it might not be the full reopening previously expected.
He said: “I expect there will be a removal of quite a number of restrictions on Friday, but it may not be as comprehensive a removal of restrictions as previously planned.
“But that’s essentially something for Government to decide on tomorrow. Of course, we’re talking to other EU countries to learn from best practice.
"We are carefully watching where the numbers are in Ireland - we've seen a 12% increase or so over the last week, and that is putting some increased pressure in relation to our hospital system and ICU beds."
He said the Government needs to make "sensible and pragmatic decisions, informed by science and expertise" as we head towards the winter months.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, meanwhile, said the continuation of COVID certs to access indoor venues is "an item on the agenda" for consideration.
However, he said he's not going to preempt a Government decision on the specific reopening details.
Health officials have been increasingly concerned over the rising number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the increasing number of people in hospital with the virus.
Now 482 #covid19 patients in hospital, 74 in ICU. Time for us all to hit the reset button. 1.If unvaccinated, you're at higher risk, resulting in a disproportionate impact. Do the right thing. 2.For the rest of us,time to do the basics well again. Both of the above work.@HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) October 18, 2021
As of this morning, there were 482 COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals, including 73 in ICU.
New figures released today show that 63.2% of people admitted to ICU with COVID-19 in recent months were not fully vaccinated.
Figures from the HPSC from the end of June until the start of this month show that 57% of cases needing intensive care hadn't received a vaccine dose.
Just under a third were fully vaccinated.
In that period, there were 258 people admitted to ICU due to COVID-19, with more than three-quarters having an underlying health condition.
NIAC is also meeting today to consider an expansion of the booster shot programme.