People will not have to prove that they are vaccinated in order to return to the office, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said.

"We will avoid that distinction," Mr Martin said in an update at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin where vaccinations are taking place.

The Taoiseach said the return to the office was about a "return to livelihoods".

Vaccines have been voluntary and people have responded well, he said.

The Government does not want to risk a "derailment" of what has already opened, he said, adding that it will be a case of "steady as she goes" when it comes to relaxing restrictions over the coming weeks.

"There are still unknowns out there and uncertainties in respect of the Delta variant".

Mr Martin praised the effort of vaccination teams, which he said has been superb, adding that 5.72 million doses have been administered so far, with 71% of the eligible population now fully vaccinated, and 86% partially vaccinated.

In terms of uptake, he said it was "quite extraordinary", with 96.9% of vaccines available in Ireland having been administered to date, which was "way ahead" of EU averages.

"We will also now be offering vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds, the HSE will be operationalising that very quickly and will have to do some technology changes in terms of facilitating consent from parents online," he added.

With two mRNA vaccines approved for that age group, the Taoiseach indicated that this could see up to 250,000 more people vaccinated before the new school term.

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Earlier, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he expected that many workers will return to the office from September, as further easing of Covid-19 restrictions are considered.

Mr Ryan said that the strength of the country's vaccination programme "gives the ability to consider further reopenings", adding that the return to the office would be among the first things to be considered.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the Minister for Transport, Climate Action and Communications also said this would be done "on a hybrid basis" and in a "gradual and safe" way.

"We have to recognise those vaccination targets we have been meeting are phenomenal. We have pulled ahead now. We have passed out the US and are about to pass out the UK in terms of level of vaccination, and that gives us strength and the ability to do further reopenings," he said.

"What's next? It has to be the return to work and to college. We are already back in school, but we need real life return," he added.

Mr Ryan said that the Government will also start planning for the return of the creative and cultural sectors in the coming weeks.

"They are the industry that have been probably worst hit, music, arts and entertainment. We will start planning now to see how those other industries, that they too can start planning a return," he said, adding that it needed to be done carefully.

Mr Ryan also said that the Government plans to consider using Digital Covid Certificates to allow for the return of live music and entertainment events, possibly in the autumn.

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 meets on 6 August and again later in the month, when it will begin to set out the processes behind a further easing of measures.

A professor of experimental immunology said that, from September, most cases of Covid-19 in Ireland will be among the under-18s and the reopening of schools poses a threat of rapidly spreading the Delta variant.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Professor Kingston Mills said that 10% of cases are now among the under-12s and 17% are among those aged 13-18 years.

He said that if schools reopen without having rapid antigen testing in place or a Covid vaccination programme "we could see significant numbers of cases".

Prof Mills said the priority has to be to vaccinate secondary school-aged children before looking ahead to those aged from 5-12 years.

There is still some vaccine hesitancy among parents of younger people, according to Prof Mills, but he encouraged them to "go out and get vaccinated".

"This really is a disease you don't want to get," he said.