The chief medical officer says Irish people should "feel hopeful" and start planning for the summer months.
More than 30% of adults in the country have no received their first coronavirus vaccination.
Dr Tony Holohan says: “The choices we make now are vital to minimise the incidence of COVID-19 throughout May and June.
"Prioritise being outside and avoid crowds. "
Dr Holohan's comments come as a further eight Covid-19-related deaths are confirmed in Ireland by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).
Another 393 cases of the virus were also confirmed by Nphet in the last 24-hour reporting period.
The latest figures from the Department of Health brings the total number of cases to 251,474 and the total death toll to 4,921.
Of the new cases, 173 are in Dublin, 42 in Cork, 34 in Kildare, 26 in Donegal, 15 in Meath and the remaining 103 cases are spread across 20 other counties.
Of the deaths notified this evening, three of these occurred in May, two occurred in March and a further three in February or before.
The median age of those who died was 79 years and the age range was 55 – 97 years.
As of 8am today, 131 coronavirus patients were in hospital, of whom 36 were in ICU.
There were 16 additional hospital admissions in the previous 24 hours.
As of Tuesday, May 4, a total of 1,655,866 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland. Some 1,201,373 people have received their first dose, while 454,493 people have received two doses.
Dr Holohan added: “We all want the easing of restrictions next week to be a significant turning point in this pandemic.
"We have worked so hard to reduce the spread of this disease.
"Know the symptoms - self-isolate immediately and phone your GP if you have them."
The five-day moving average of cases now stands at 410, while the 14-day incidence of the virus per 100,000 population is now at 129.7.
Donegal has the highest county incidence rate, followed by Kildare.
Of the cases notified today, 175 are men and 211 are women. 79% are under 45 years of age, and the median age is 28-years-old.
The HSE has written to maternity hospitals advising them it is time to lift visiting restrictions for partners of pregnant women, the head of the HSE has said.
Maternity hospitals have been criticised for the slow pace of easing restrictions despite vaccination and falling caseloads, but have now been advised to increase access.
This would ease limits for partners from just attending the anomaly scan, active labour, and neonatal units to normal access.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid said: “We believe the conditions are right that restrictions should be lifted.”