Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said any possible changes to Covid-19 restrictions will be "gradual and cautious".
Mr Donohoe compared today's situation to last November and said the Government had learned "how challenging" it is to deliver the "equilibrium" between opening up the economy and society and keeping the virus under control.
The minister was speaking at an online event today organised by the Dublin Economics Workshop.
Mr Donohoe said he believes the Irish State will be "a bit bigger" after the pandemic.
He said we will need to retain a higher level of intensive care in the public health system and a testing and tracing capacity.
Some of the regulatory roles of the State may need to grow "without being bigger from an expenditure point of view", he added.
Mr Donohoe described getting people back to work after the pandemic is brought under control as the overriding challenge facing the economy.
He also said he believes reopening the economy and the reduction in expenditure on support programmes that will follow will deal with much of the deficit challenges facing the public finances.