The battle to reopen hospitals to deal with a backlog of non-Covid-19 patients and deliver care in the future under physical-distancing rules may prove harder than unlocking the doors of pubs.
Hospitals and GPs will have to find new ways of treating patients in the shadow of the virus, which will also make how care is managed slower, meaning fewer people can be seen.
Several public hospitals, which had put so much other non-Covid work on pause by deferring thousands of surgeries and appointments since early March, are now slowly trying to call in more patients for routine care. But it is something of a new world.
One of the biggest problems to be faced will be how to operate physical distancing in cramped waiting rooms.
It means that more patients will be asked to stay in their cars, if possible, when they arrive for an appointment and wait to be called, instead of the old system where they would all be crowded into the one waiting area.
This will also be the case for many GP surgeries and the traditional scenario of a busy morning surgery with patients ranging from a roomful of children to older people, all squeezed together in the one waiting room, is a thing of the past.
More consultations between hospital specialists, family doctors and patients will take place by phone or video link.
If they need a face-to-face consultation, much of the work will already be done so they will spend as little time as possible with the doctor.
The virus threat will also slow down the number of patients who can be operated on in a day because of all the extra safeguards that now have to be put in place.
More non-Covid patients will end up having their temperature checked and be tested for the virus as part of the new system. Hospitals will have Covid and non-Covid sections.
Several cancer patients in need of urgent surgeries have been sent to private hospitals in recent weeks.
Oncologists have been doing their best to keep their patients safe through online consultations and changing drug regimens in some cases.
But there are time-sensitive procedures that have been delayed because of the concentration on clearing hospitals to be ready for the threatened coronavirus surge.
The HSE said it hoped to use private hospitals to clear some of the backlog on public waiting lists.
But this deal with private hospitals will run out in a few weeks unless it is renewed.
We had a waiting list crisis before the start of Covid-19. It is set to worsen in the coming months while doctors also have to grapple with a whole new way of work.