The Government's new plan for living with Covid-19 brings with it a significant shift in the decision-making process for introducing restrictions that impact on people's lives.
Power is being stripped slowly away from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), headed by acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn, and moved towards the country's most senior civil servant.
Department of the Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser will chair a newly established Covid-19 Oversight Group. Dr Glynn will be a member of the group, along with HSE chief executive Paul Reid. The remaining members will be made up of "relevant Government Departments", ie more civil servants.
This powerful new Covid team, consisting of mostly senior civil servants, will examine any recommendations made by Nphet before they are sent to the Cabinet for discussion.
The Government's Covid plan says this group will meet weekly to "provide advice to Government on the strategic economic and social policy responses to the management of the disease and to consider the Nphet advices".
It is unlikely we will hear much from Martin Fraser, or be given any public insights into this group's thinking before or after they offer advice on restrictions that will dictate how we live for the next six months.
You probably won't see weekly briefings aired on RTÉ News Now featuring Mr Fraser and the rest of the group.
But the shift in power from public health experts to senior civil servants is a long time coming - and not necessarily a bad thing.
Throughout the pandemic, the Civil Service, along with the Public Sector, have put in long hours to help forge a plan to contain the virus.
It led to frustrations in the last government when then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was keen to reopen society, but Nphet - which includes senior officials from the HSE and Department of Health - was insisting the country should remain under lockdown.
Mr Fraser is a well-respected civil servant whom former Transport Minister Shane Ross referred to as a "16th member of Government" in a column in the Sunday Independent last weekend.
"Prior to becoming a minister, I had assumed that the Cabinet secretary was a note-taker par excellence, a bureaucrat without peers," Ross wrote. "Far from it. He was articulate and not shy about showing it. There was little doubt that Mr Fraser was a mighty influence on policy," he added. Mr Ross said Mr Fraser's "influence increased with the onslaught of Covid-19".
That influence has certainly gone up a few notches with his appointment as chair of the Covid-19 Oversight Group. The ultimate decision on any new coronavirus measures will be taken by Cabinet as usual, but it will now be heavily influenced by this new group.
Mr Fraser is very much a behind-the-scenes type of civil servant and does not crave the limelight like some of his counterparts. His only public appearances are made when he is called to go before an Oireachtas committee. But he can be seen lurking in the background at major press conferences.
But he does have a steady hand - which the Government could certainly do with, given the renewed confusion every time a new set of Covid rules is announced.
It should be noted that he has been in position throughout the pandemic, offering advice and guidance to Varadkar and Martin's governments, so he bears some responsibility for decisions taken to date.
Mr Fraser's group will also act as another layer of protection for the Government as it seeks to share the burden of public criticism of its handling of the pandemic in the coming weeks and months.
How such criticism, or indeed praise, should be shared out will depend on how much we learn about the workings of the group. Yesterday the Government press office did not respond to queries about how the group will work, so we will have to wait and see the level of influence it exerts over the Government - or Nphet, for that matter.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin insisted Nphet will still take the lead on making recommendations on restrictions, as he and other senior Government figures have been saying for months. But generally if the Government introduces an oversight body it is because it does not trust the work of the agency needing the oversight.