The Cabinet is considering a plan to reopen social and economic life over the next two months following lengthy talks between health chiefs and the leaders of the coalition parties which ran late into Wednesday night.
The proposals include greater freedoms for vaccinated people, a relaxation of restrictions on outdoor gatherings and the reopening of personal services and outdoor hospitality.
Hairdressers and barbers will reopen on May 10th, while the ban on intercounty travel is also set to be lifted.
Revised vaccine plan
The HSE is working on a revised plan for the Covid vaccine rollout, following changes in advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the plan will continue to proceed based on age, with the latest version expected early next week.
It has been suggested that the restriction of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs to people over 50 could see younger people moved up the queue.
Helen McEntee has baby
Helen McEntee has become the first serving Cabinet Minister to give birth while in office.
Ms McEntee temporarily stepped aside on Tuesday as Minister for Justice to take maternity leave, but remains a member of Government.
She gave birth to a baby boy, weighing 7lbs 8oz, in the Rotunda Hospital on Wednesday night. A name for the newborn has not yet been revealed.
Arlene Foster has returned to Northern Ireland Executive business as focus within her party shifts to the race to succeed her as DUP leader and the North's First Minister.
She is standing down as party leader on May 28th and as First Minister at the end of June.
MPs Jeffrey Donaldson and Gavin Robinson, both viewed as moderates, and the more hardline Edwin Poots are among the names emerging as potential successors.