There is no rationale for waiting to ease COVID restrictions, particularly around the hospitality curfew.
That's according to Christine Loscher, Professor of Immunology at DCU, who was speaking as NPHET meets to discuss easing public health measures.
Health officials will make recommendations to the Government ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Friday.
While Taoiseach Micheál Martin told a meeting of his parliamentary party on Wednesday the country is now well beyond the peak of the Omicron wave - and things were not as bad as had been feared.
Prof Loscher told Newstalk Breakfast there is no point in waiting.
"We clearly have a decline in our case numbers, we're getting a lot of positive indications from people on the ground - GPs, hospital doctors - that it is indeed not translating into any of the kind of impacts that we've seen before.
"The low bar in terms of what we do next is to get rid of the additional measures that were put in place in December, because of the unknown - I suppose - about Omicron.
"Now we know where we are with Omicron: I think it's time to get rid of those additional measures."
'Row back on restrictions now'
Prof Loscher says the restrictions have done what they were put in place to do.
"Restrictions are really about managing public health, and we've really seen over the last few weeks that the impact of this variant on public health... is just not what we've experienced before.
"And I think that's enough reason to be able to row back on restrictions now, and take advantage of the fact that we're in a good position".
She says case numbers and hospitalisations are stable.
"Certainly when it comes to those opening times, I don't actually see any justification or rationale for waiting anymore.
"We thought maybe a few weeks ago we could have up to 50,000 cases a day, we're now at about 12,000 cases a day.
"And we're still not seeing translation into hospitalisations and ICUs at 50,000.
"So even if we open up certain sectors, even if we see case numbers increase... if they're not translating to impact on healthcare and high risk, then we can allow for some increase in cases it's not going to impact [sic].
"So I certainly think there's no reason or justification for delay - particularly on that opening time".
And she believes mask wearing should be reinforced for crowded settings, such as sports events.
"We need very clear guidance around mask wearing in crowded outdoor settings because of the nature of Omicron.
"And that we should move away from the messaging we've had before, which is 'masks need to be worn indoors and outdoors is a bit safer'.
"I think that we certainly need better guidance, and I think people need to get a clear message that when you're in crowded outdoor settings, that mask wearing is really a form of prevention".