LEO VARADKAR says that he thinks life will return to normal by the middle of 2021.
The Tánaiste was speaking at a Zoom conference of the Laois Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, and indicated that a nationwide vaccination programme could be begin in Ireland as early as January.
This, he believes, will ensure that life returns to how it was pre-pandemic by the summer, with Varadkar suggesting that holidays, sports events and concerts could soon be back on the cards.
"2021 will be the year of recovery," he said.
"The scene is set for a rapid recovery ... and we need to be prepared for that.
"Hopefully by the middle of 2021 we will be back to a level of normality in terms of going on holidays, matches, events," he said.
"Hopefully Electric Picnic will happen in 2021 and a lot of people will be making it to Stradbally."
Electric Picnic - Ireland's biggest music festival, which usually takes place around late-August or early-September - was cancelled in 2020 along with numerous other events due to Covid-19, but with vaccines on the horizon, the hope is that there won't be a repeat next year.
On Wednesday, the UK became the first country in the world to officially approve a Covid-19 vaccine for use, and the British Government has promised to make it available to the public from next week.
With countries across Europe and indeed the world set to follow suit in the coming weeks, resistance to the virus appears to finally within our grasp.