The Government will not be moving to a mask mandate based on the current public health advice.
That's according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly following a call from the INMO, which recorded a record high number of people waiting on trolleys across the country.
931 people were being treated in trolleys or chairs in Irish hospitals on Tuesday.
More than 700 patients were in hospital with COVID-19, and another 700 hospitalised with flu.
Minister Donnelly will update the Cabinet later on Wednesday and will meet with the HSE senior team on Friday.
"We'll be managing this on a daily basis," he said.
"We have this perfect storm of RSV, the flu and COVID obviously - as well as all of the normal pressures.
"Really that has absorbed the significant additional capacity that has been put into the system".
He said the wave of flu infections is expected to get worse before it gets better.
"The advice I have from the Chief Medical Officer is the modelling is difficult in terms of being accurate," he said.
"However what I can tell you is the HSE's view today when I met them was that this is likely to get worse, we are likely to see more pressure.
"They don't believe that the flu wave has peaked."
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says he’s not considering reintroducing a mask mandate in public settings. The measure was called for by the INMO, which recorded a record high number of people waiting on trolleys across the country. pic.twitter.com/5xzD5JP4iq
— Mairéad Cleary (@maireadcleary7) January 3, 2023
He said the issue of masks will be kept under review "on a daily and on a weekly basis."
"I don't anticipate any change coming in terms of the public health advice from the Chief Medical Officer," he said.
"However I want to fully acknowledge the INMO's concerns.
"The public health advice to Government, and to me at the moment, is not to move to mask mandates.
"Obviously we will keep the situation under review on a daily on a weekly basis".
He said people should follow basic hygiene rules like hand-washing, and anyone symptomatic should stay home.
He also said people should wear masks in healthcare settings, crowded places and on public transport.
Additional reporting: Mairéad Cleary