COVID-19 is no longer a national, existential emergency in Ireland, according to Professor Sam McConkey.
He was speaking as Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan told the Oireachtas Health Committee the current situation is 'broadly positive'.
But he warned the virus still poses a risk to public health with an 'ongoing need' to keep some public health measures - such as masks being worn.
Prof McConkey is head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He told The Pat Kenny Show: "I think we're in a much, much better place than any we've been in the last two years.
"I think that the relationship of COVID-19 to our country: it's no longer - what I would call - an all of society, national, existential emergency."
He says there are no longer questions around basic structures, such as healthcare.
"That's over and now it's become a more focused health problem - particularly for those people who are vulnerable, who are at-risk or who aren't vaccinated.
"It's become a more manageable problem."
But Prof McConkey says not every country is in the same place.
"We're all breathing a sigh of relief, sadly not all countries are doing that.
"There's still a lot of cases in places like Israel and a lot of deaths in the US.
"So the whole of the world is not out of it, but for now I think we're in a good place".
He says 'sensible precautions' will have to continue.
"There are a lot of vulnerable, at-risk and unvaccinated people in our society who are still potentially going to get serious COVID infection, and are very worried about that.
"They still have to go shopping, they still have to use public transport and schools.
"So the idea of keeping some sensible precautions in those obligatory public areas - like food shops, like public transport - I think is very wise and sensible".
And Prof McConkey also believes a review should be undertaken as to what could have been done better.
"Could we have a Joint Oireachtas Committee taking evidence, from people in Ireland and abroad, looking back on the key decisions that were made for public policy over the last few years - and ask how could we do it better?
"There is a danger of course in that - what we call in medicine the retrospectiscope.
"The retrospective one allows you to see the past, and of course it's easy to make the good decisions, and to know what the good decisions should have been when you've got the future, when you're looking back on it two years later.
"But I think there's a lot of learning we could do there".