The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the end of the coronavirus pandemic 'is within our grasp'.
He said the country is almost back to a point of 'enjoying ordinary moments' again.
A new easing of coronavirus restrictions has been announced, with international travel set to return on July 19th.
Indoor dining will return in the first week of July, while trial events will bring crowds back to live events next month.
The measures will begin to ease on June 2nd, when hotels and B&Bs can re-open to guests.
In an address to the nation, Mr Martin said the end of the COVID-19 crisis is within grasp if people stick to restrictions over the next month.
"This is an important time for us all.
"After the trauma of the last 15 months, we are finally taking definite steps towards enjoying normal times with friends and loved ones again.
"We are almost back to a point where we can just enjoy the ordinary, extraordinary moments in our lives.
"The sense of hope, excitement and relief is palpable.
"But as we watch what is happening across the globe, we of course know that we must remain vigilant against this terrible virus.
"We know there have been many twists and turns on this journey."
'A collective effort'
Mr Martin said the coming month could be 'the most important test' since the pandemic began.
"I have talked many times about the strength that is found in solidarity and how managing the pandemic must be a collective effort.
"This coming month could be the most important test of that spirit that we have faced since this ordeal began.
"Tonight, I have set out the roadmap for the coming months.
"Our continued progress along that roadmap will depend on each of us thinking about all of us."
He added that everyone 'wants out' of the restrictions, but that will require everyone to stick to the guidelines.
"If we continue to mind each other, if we continue to make the right choices, be vigilant, take our vaccine when our turn comes - if we continue to do all these things, the end of this is within our grasp."
He also praised Ireland's high rate of vaccine uptake, calling it "perhaps the most dramatic and constructive evidence of our respect for science".
"By every measure, the Irish people trust the vaccines.
"In fact our country enjoys one of the highest levels of trust in the vaccine in the world.
"And you are right to have that trust.
"It is clear that the Irish people are embracing the National Vaccination Programme and that it is powering ahead.
"More than 2.6 million vaccines have now been administered and half the eligible population of the country will have received at least one vaccine by Monday", he said.
While online registration is now open for everyone aged over 45, it is hoped to open it to everyone over 40 next week.