The Tánaiste has told the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party that he wants to set a March 31st deadline to end "almost all" restrictions.
Leo Varadkar told his TDs and Senators that he has a “strong degree of confidence” the current restrictions can be eased quickly in the coming weeks.
While noting that no promises can be made, he said he hoped to lift almost all legal restrictions by the end of March.
He warned however that some measures like mask-wearing, COVID passes for international travel and staying home when symptomatic will likely be kept on for longer.
Minister Varadkar noted that the Omicron wave has not seen hospitalisations, intensive care admissions and deaths surge like previous waves.
He said the lessened severity of Omicron alongside the high levels of immunity in the population should see restrictions eased quickly.
It comes amid increasing calls for COVID restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible.
Pubs, restaurants and cinemas are calling for the 8pm curfew to be lifted immediately, while backbench Government TDs have also backed a quicker reopening.
The restrictions were originally due to remain in force until January 30th.
NPHET is due to meet on Thursday and there are calls for Cabinet to meet immediately after to make a decision on the way forward.
Reporting from Sean Defoe and Michael Staines.