IRELAND is set to move into what's been described as 'Level 4 with modifications' in March, according to Leo Varadkar.
The Tánaiste told colleagues at last night's Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting that once full lockdown restrictions end on March 5, the country will introduce slightly looser ones.
It'll be similar to the manner in which Ireland emerged from the first lockdown mid-way through last year.
A move to Level 4 could allow people to travel within their own county and would permit outdoor dining, according to the Government's Living with Covid plan.
Though the "with modifications" extension leaves the precise makeup of the restrictions fairly open to speculation.
It's understood that Varadkar also outright rejected any suggestion that a 'jump' to Level 3 would be possible, as it was in December when Ireland emerged from its last lockdown.
Speaking about the newly implemented mandatory quarantine rule, the Tánaiste emphasised during the meeting that there would be no 'silver bullet' to eliminate Covid-19 from the country, particularly given that international travel only account for less than 1% of coronavirus cases in Ireland.
On Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin extended current Level 5 restrictions until the beginning of March, increasing rules surrounding the need to quarantine upon arrival into Ireland.
Passengers arriving into the country without a negative PCR test from no more than 72 hours prior to arrival will be face a mandatory quarantine at a dedicated facility for 14 days.