Ireland could return to a version of Level Four restrictions after March 5th, according to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
He told a Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting last night that, if conditions allow, restrictions could be gradually unwound in a manner similar to the way the country exited the first wave last year.
Level Four allows people to travel within their own counties, and permits outdoor dining for pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Mr Varadkar told TDs and Senators that there is no silver bullet for getting rid of coronavirus, but added that no strategy can be ruled out.
NPHET is meeting on Thursday to consider the current spread of the virus, with 54 Covid-related deaths and 1,335 new cases reported yesterday.
The Tánaiste's comments come just a day after the Government extended level five restrictions until March 5th.
All current Level Five restrictions were extended with a clampdown on international travel.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the current restrictions "are having a very positive effect", and that the number of close contacts is also coming down.
He warned however that hospitals remain under enormous pressure, and that "we must protect the women and men of our health service."
He also stressed that new COVID-19 variants recently identified are "a dangerous development" in the pandemic.
"The message for the next six weeks is very simple: stay at home", he said.
On travel, there will be additional Gardaí at ports and airports, with increased fines for breaking restrictions.
Anyone found to be in breach of the 5km regulation will be subject to an increased fine of €500.
Meanwhile Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said earlier on Wednesday that the Government will be taking a 'cautious' approach when considering easing restrictions.
He told Newstalk Breakfast: "I think we’re looking at a period now of sustained suppression of the virus, because we know what happens when there is greater social interaction and mixing of people.
“For now, as a collective society, we have a job of work to do. But I think what you will see in March from Government is a cautious approach that is about keeping the numbers as low as possible.”
Reporting by Sean Defoe | Additional reporting: Jack Quann