DR TONY HOLOHAN has confirmed that Ireland is on track to ease restrictions next month and reopen the country.
As per the Government's latest pandemic roadmap, nearly all Covid-19 restrictions are set to be lifted - or at least significantly eased - on October 22.
While maintaining that NPHET couldn't rule out reintroducing public health measures later down line, the Chief Medical Officer reassured TDs that the country's reopening plan was moving forward as expected.
"It's my view that we're still on track within the short number of weeks to reach the criterion set out for easing of restrictions on October 22," Dr Holohan said.
"We can never absolutely rule anything out, but we don't think we're going to be in a situation where some of the significant restrictions that were imposed on the Irish population are likely to be necessary, on the basis of anything that we see in front of us right now.
"In broad terms, we're optimistic about the trajectory of the disease at this point in time.
"In terms fo the range of measures that are still in place being eased, we think we're a short number of weeks away from that. We don't see anything at this point in time emerging in the international scene or globally by way of concern about a new variant."
Chair of NPHET modelling Professor Philip Nolan also revealed that it's "plausible" to say Ireland is past the peak of the Delta wave.
"It's plausible that we're past the peak go infection in this population," Prof Nolan said.
"[Data] shows the peak happened in the last week of August, first week of September, and case numbers started to decline form there."
He also said the Covid-19 incidence rate has "effectively collapsed" among the 19-24 age group due to high vaccine uptake rates.
Despite the optimism, Dr Holohan warned that "there is so much infection out there", and encouraged the public not to get sloppy and to continue following all necessary public health guidelines wherever necessary until they're lifted.