With the bank-holiday weekend approaching, expectation is growing that the national lockdown will be lifted and we can all return to normal life.
However, despite early indications that social-distancing measures might be relaxed after May 5, it now looks like the public will be asked to quarantine for some time yet. Here's what we know so far.
Will the lockdown be lifted next Tuesday?
No. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to extend the lockdown for another two weeks before any significant easing of restrictions are introduced.
But there has been talks of easing some of the rules?
There has, but any adjustments expected to be announced tomorrow will be minimal. The vast majority of people will be asked to continue to quarantine for another two weeks.
What social-distancing rules are they looking at lifting next week?
The Government are eager to give some leeway to over-70s who have been asked to cocoon. Health officials are under pressure from ministers to allow this group out to exercise at least once a day.
Chief Medical Officer, Tony Holohan, today told ministers he is sensitive to the plight of older people who have been stuck inside their homes.
What about the rest of us?
Health officials are examining whether the 2km non-essential travel ban could be increased to 5km from next week. However, there is very low expectation among ministers that any restrictions will be lifted after the briefing with Mr Holohan.
I keep hearing about the Government's roadmap for exiting the lockdown. What is that all about?
Tomorrow, the Taoiseach will unveil a step-by-step guide for how the country can return to normal life and learn to live with Covid-19. It will be broken down into three phases and each phase will contain a number of stages.
Does phase one begin next week?
No, the exit strategy does not officially start for another two weeks - most likely the week beginning Monday, May 18.
What will be in phase one?
The initial stage of the first phase will see a large number of outdoor workers return to work, if safe to do so.
Construction workers, landscapers, painters and roofers are the groups expected to return to work first. The non-essential travel ban will also be relaxed at this stage.
Older people will be allowed to leave their homes to exercise once a day and small groups of people will be permitted to meet up with friends and family they do not live with.
Hardware shops and garden centres, along with some other businesses, will be allowed to reopen. Secondary school students are also expected to return to the classroom during the latter stages of this phase.
Non-contact sports, such as tennis and golf, will also be permitted.
When will this happen?
There are no dates in the roadmap but it is expected the restrictions will begin to be eased in stages between mid-May and early in June.
What about the next phase?
All going well, more restrictions will be eased through the summer. Businesses, including restaurants and cafés, will be able to reopen as long as they can introduce social-distancing measures to keep staff safe. The travel ban will also be relaxed to allow people travel further from their homes. It is also expected the number of people who can attend funerals will be increased during this phase. At present only ten people can attend ceremonies and this may be gradually increased.
And after that?
During the final phase, it is hoped the tourism industry can return in some form. This will see hotels and other amenities reopen for business.
Families and/or household units will be able to travel to tourist destinations at this point. Workplaces with low levels of interaction between employees will also reopen.
What about post-summer?
The Government hopes schools and creches will reopen in September if the spread of the virus has been contained. People who have been working remotely throughout the lockdown will be asked to keep doing so until this point.
Will the roadmap be set in stone?
Certainly not. The Government will only move between phases if key targets on stopping the spread of the virus are achieved. There is a possibility we will have to drop back between phases if the virus continues to spread.
How are these targets measured?
In the Dáil, the Taoiseach highlighted the five criteria that need to be considered if restrictions can be lifted. They are: 1. Progress of the disease; 2. Capacity of the healthcare system; 3. Capacity for testing and contact tracing; 4. Shielding at-risk groups, such as the elderly; 5. The risk of secondary morbidity and mortality.
When will the roadmap be published?
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) will sign off on their final recommendations on the lockdown tomorrow morning and the Cabinet will later meet to discuss the proposals. The Taoiseach and Health Minister Simon Harris will then announce the extension of the lockdown later in the day. Health and the Department of the Taoiseach are making final touches to the exit strategy roadmap which will be published tomorrow.
The coronavirus lockdown hit the high street hard here in March with retail sales falling by their largest amount in a single since the financial crash and across Europe, economies stared into the abyss as output in the Eurozone shrank by the largest amount since records in 1995.