The executive has met to discuss whether more lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland can be lifted.
Economy Minister Diane Dodds said the executive had agreed shopping centres can reopen from Friday.
A further coronavirus-related death has been recorded in Northern Ireland. The total number of deaths recorded by the Department of Health stands at 538.
This figure is mostly focused on hospital deaths and where patients tested positive for the virus.
A total of four more people have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 4,822, according to the department’s dashboard.
Ministers have also been looking at the possibility of letting people have more contact with family and friends.
They discussed the “social bubble” concept, used successfully in New Zealand.
On Monday, First Minister Arlene Foster said she regretted that the executive has not been able to allow people to visit others indoors yet.
Mrs Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill are due to announce more details at the executive’s daily press conference on Thursday afternoon.
What else has the executive been discussing?
Ministers have moved from the response phase of the pandemic to the recovery phase, and their meeting focused on a strategic overview for helping all sectors to regain some sense of normality.
As parts of the retail sector prepare to open on Friday, so long as the transmission of the virus has remained low, ministers have agreed that shopping centres should be able to reopen.
However, concerns have been raised about a lack of clear guidance for the childcare sector, as more people with children prepare to return to work.
The executive also discussed that issue and Department of Health panels are expected to meet on Thursday to assess when certain childcare centres can open.
It is understood Agriculture and Environment Minister Edwin Poots intended to raise the issue of restrictions on numbers of people permitted to attend funerals – currently limited to 10.
Ministers were also due to discuss bringing forward the date for hotels and hospitality businesses to reopen in Northern Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland, the industry has been given a date of 29 June to reopen.
The executive has said hotels can reopen in Northern Ireland from 20 July, but no date has been announced for pubs or restaurants yet.
On Monday, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon brought a paper to the executive about whether face coverings on public transport should be made mandatory.
In England, the measure will take effect from 15 June.
While face coverings are recommended in Northern Ireland on public transport and in shops where social distancing is not possible, the Stormont executive has not yet taken a decision on whether to make it compulsory.
What is the social bubble model?
A bubble is defined as an exclusive group of people with whom you have close physical contact, this can be friends or family.
Members of a bubble would be able to visit one another in their homes, but it would still be important to limit the risk of chains of transmission.
If Household A merges with Household B, Household B could not also link up with another group – Household C – because this would create a chain that could allow the virus to spread widely.
Stormont ministers have asked health officials for advice on whether the measure could be adopted in Northern Ireland.
Why does the R-number matter?
The executive has warned that people’s behaviour over the next few weeks will determine whether lockdown-easing steps continue, are halted, or are reversed, depending on how the R value is affected.
The R-number, or reproduction number, is the average number of people that one coronavirus-infected person will pass the virus on to.
Last week, the Department of Health said it estimated the R-number in Northern Ireland is currently between 0.7 and 0.9, enabling ministers to move ahead with lifting some restrictions.
It will publish the R-number every Thursday.