An expert says another coronavirus lockdown is needed now - but it's vital to not 'screw up' or make the same mistakes as before.
Trinity Professor Aoife McLysaght says there's now a "golden opportunity" to take action, and to ensure a third lockdown is Ireland's last one.
The Cabinet is meeting this morning to discuss new restrictions, which will likely see the likes of restaurants and hairdressers close from Christmas Eve.
However, the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group is calling for a full national lockdown to be implemented from St Stephen's Day.
It comes as the first vaccinations are due to arrive in Ireland in the coming days.
Professor McLysaght - Genetics Professor at Trinity College and member of the group - told Newstalk Breakfast we do need to close down for a time to manage the number of cases.
She said: "There is a short tunnel... to having a normal life. We do have to do a lockdown now, but we can do it properly.
"We can stop weighing up different parts of the economy against each other, and have everything open normal - there is a path to do that by Paddy's Day.
"We don't even need to get to zero COVID - if we got to something like level one in the Government's plan, we could live that until the vaccine is rolled out.
"What it means is essentially not making the same mistake - not screwing up the lockdown."
'Deep contact tracing'
Professor McLysaght said lockdown is not the only tool that's needed, and that public health doctors need to be properly resourced to allow for 'deep contact tracing' of confirmed cases.
However, she said lockdowns can work - pointing to the initial one in March and April, which she says worked 'very well, very quickly'.
She suggested people's attitude was different during the second lockdown, and the measures 'weren't as thorough' as they were earlier in the year.
However, she stressed another lockdown doesn't need to be authoritarian - but instead a sensible one that people could buy into if they know an end is in sight.
She said: "The target in the lockdown is not the number of days in lockdown - it's the number of cases we get down to."
"There's definitely light at the end of tunnels if we do it right."
She said a decision around closing schools would be a choice that would have to made.
She argued closure could speed up the reduction in cases, but keeping schools open could work if other measures were 'really strict'.
For now, she said there are a few things in our favour - including schools being closed and Northern Ireland bringing in its own six-week lockdown after Christmas.
She added: "We really want to make this lockdown our last."