The Cabinet will meet today to decide if stage four of the roadmap for reopening can go ahead as planned next Monday.
It will include a decision on whether pubs that don't serve food can reopen for the first time since March.
It comes amid the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases, with 182 new coronavirus cases confirmed since Friday.
Forty-six new infections were recorded yesterday - 85% of which were in people under 45.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said his number one focus now is getting children and teenagers back to school by September.
That has led to fears from publicans that they mightn't be allowed reopen if health officials believe that could lead to a fresh spike in cases ahead of schools reopening at the end of the month.
The Licensed Vintners Association has said a "meaningful compensation package" will be needed if pubs aren't given the green light to reopen next week.
They say that pubs "can't continue to be left in limbo", and that there is currently "intolerable pressure" on publicans, staff, and suppliers.
The Vintners' Federation of Ireland, meanwhile, has said if some pubs do not reopen next Monday they may never resume trading again.
NPHET will meet today to consider the current situation, and the Government will later consider the public health advice and decide whether to proceed with phase four.