Q Radio News and Cate McCurry, PA
The Northern Ireland Executive hopes to publish dates for the reopening of hairdressers, beauticians and non-essential retail when it meets next week.
Arlene Foster said it is important to give certainty to people, and that a timeline to reopen close contact services could be published at the Executive meeting on April 15.
A number of lockdown restrictions will be eased from April 12, including the reopening of garden centres and car washes.
Contactless click-and-collect for all non-essential retail will also resume.
Mrs Foster said on Tuesday that the number of daily Covid-19 cases continues to fall.
“As you’ve seen from our colleagues in Westminster they have been moving ahead in relation to the relaxation of the Covid regulations,” the DUP leader added.
“It’s very important that we also continue to relax the Covid regulations because the statistics are very good again today.
“If you look at the statistics, the numbers of positive cases have again shown to be very small, which of course is welcome.
“My colleague, Diane Dodds (Minister for the Economy), has put papers in in relation to the lifting of restrictions in terms of close contact services, hairdressers and beauticians and non-essential retail, which of course is very important as well.
“I do hope that we will be able to give dates in relation to those issues when we next go to the Executive to look at these issues.
“It is important that we do give some certainty to people and I think that what you will see coming out of the next Executive are some timelines in relation to non-essential retail and close contact services.
“We do of course recognise that we’re still waiting on the global travel taskforce to hear what the outcome of that is.
“We’re hoping that that’s going to come before the end of the week.
“There’s still a huge amount of work to do in relation to the lifting of Covid restrictions.”