Ministers have pushed for the two-metre social distancing rule to be eased as the Government considers lifting more Covid-19 restrictions.
Separately, it emerged that new measures to alleviate the strain inflicted on children due to the coronavirus and allow them more freedom for activities this summer are expected shortly.
At a Cabinet meeting last night, some ministers suggested Ireland should follow other European countries in reducing the strict social distancing rule to one metre.
The move would have significant implications for businesses seeking to reopen, and allow schools to have more students in classrooms when they return.
The two-metre social distancing rule is based on the spread of droplets.
It was noted the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises one metre, rather than two. However, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control suggests the farther distance is best.
Sources said Disability Minister Finian McGrath and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor raised the issue.
After the meeting, two other Cabinet ministers also said reducing the distance should be considered to make it easier for businesses and schools to reopen.
"If you had a metre between each desk in a school or tables in a restaurant that would make a big difference," a senior minister said.
"It's not one for today or tomorrow, but it could become a big issue in a few weeks' time."
The Restaurants' Association of Ireland told the Irish Independent it would be "a "game-changing decision" if the rule was reduced to one metre.
Meanwhile, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said it would "make life much easier for society and businesses" if the social distancing rule was reduced to 1m.
Separately, the pressures on children were discussed at the meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) yesterday in the Department of Health, with a view to allowing them more freedom from early next month after being in virtual lockdown for months.
Dr Holohan confirmed: "We are very sensitive to this and to the impact it has had on children, taking away from them the features of everyday life, whether in school, play, social engagement or sport that they enjoy."
He said they are now in talks with the Department of Education and the Department of Children on how to progress this.
Dr Holohan was speaking as the deaths of another 11 people were reported.
A further 115 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were also diagnosed. It brings the level of infection to 24,506.
Separately, the GAA is preparing to relax its approach to the ongoing closure of facilities by reopening designated walkways in clubs on June 8, the day phase two of the Government roadmap towards easing general restrictions implemented during the Covid-19 emergency kicks in.
Some clubs have developed walkways around the perimeter of their grounds and the growing feeling throughout the association is that these facilities, at least, should be reopened with set times for over-70s to use them.
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