The Government has scrapped plans for subsidised antigen tests.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told RTÉ the market had already intervened to reduce the cost of the tests for people.
It comes as NPHET officials will meet the coalition party leaders tonight to discuss the spread of the Omicron variant.
Minister Donnelly has said this morning it's likely the variant is already in Ireland.
The plans for subsidised antigen tests have been sidelined because retailers are offering them at a low cost anyway.
Retailers such as Lidl have started selling the rapid tests for as little as €3.
It had been expected any subsidy would allow the tests to be sold for around €2-3, rather than the tests being made available for free.
Minister Donnelly had previously said tests would be available for "a few euro".
Reacting to today's announcement, the Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said scrapping the plans was a "serious dereliction of duty".
She said: “The government has now washed its hands of any responsibility in the provision of antigen tests.
"It has no comprehension of the financial struggles that ordinary people in Ireland are enduring.
"Antigen tests that are €3 or €4 each may be affordable for government ministers, but they are priced out of reach of many low and middle-income workers and families."
She added that the decision "makes no sense on either public health or financial grounds" and suggested there remains a "strong argument" to make the tests free.
Meanwhile, health officials will meet with Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan ahead of tomorrow's Cabinet meeting.
A mandate for over nines and children in third class and above to wear masks in shops, schools and on public transport are likely to be approved by Cabinet tomorrow.