The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet later to consider lifting the legal requirement for face masks to be worn in certain settings.
They may no longer be required in shops, on public transport or in schools.
NPHET will consider ending the mask mandate which had been due to run until February 28th.
In political circles it is expected the advice will be to lift the legal requirement - instead leaving it up to each person whether they want to wear a mask in public settings or not.
An Taoiseach Micheál Martin told his parliamentary party on Wednesday night a distinction may be drawn between law and advice.
Teaching unions say they are cautious, and serious consideration needs to be given to retaining safety measures in schools.
Education Minister Norma Foley said she will act on NPHET advice immediately, but that it would have to go to Cabinet.
Professor of immunovirology at UCC, Liam Fanning, told Newstalk on Wednesday he believes the mandate should be dropped everywhere except healthcare settings.
"We have a large vaccinated population, a large number infected, the number per day is dropping week by week - such that we're approaching the kind of one per 1,000 now.
"I think now is a good time to give it a go, and let people make the choice as to whether they want to wear them or not".
Prof Fanning says people can make their own risk assessments based on their circumstances.
"People make their own risk assessments on a daily basis with regard to all their activities.
"The well-worn path of 'If you're in the vulnerable category you make the risk assessment, you decide whether to stay or go' - and you decide whether to wear your mask or not".
The Taoiseach travels to Brussels on Thursday for an EU-Africa summit, making the timeline for any decision unclear.
Access to COVID-19 vaccines and the waiver of patents is expected to be among the biggest issues on the conference agenda.
Additional reporting: Jack Quann