The level 5 lockdown remains in place until April 5th, but schools and childcare are to reopen from next week.
In his address to the nation this evening, Micheal Martin outlined the timetable for re-opening schools.
Leaving Cert students as well as the four youngest years of primary school - junior infants up to 2nd class - will return on March 1st.
Childcare services are set to re-open starting with the ECCE scheme on March 8th, and all childcare returning on 29th March.
The Government says any further easing of restrictions after 5th April will need a 3-4 week period to allow for assessment of the impact of changes.
The plan also sees the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and other supports for businesses extended until the end of June.
The Taoiseach said the vaccination programme is the key to reopening the economy, but stressed that "the end is now truly in sight".