Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has warned people not to expect major change when lockdown rules are reviewed next week.
Ms O’Neill said any changes to Covid-19 restrictions would be “gradual and slow”.
She said she hoped that there could be a joined-up executive agreement “we can stand over because the science tells us that we can stand over it”.
Ms O’Neill was speaking on BBC Northern Ireland’s The View on Thursday evening.
She made the comments after Environment Minister Edwin Poots suggested that churches should be able to open if they could practise social distancing.
He said people had got the message on the continued need for social distancing, and NI had “put coronavirus into reverse”.
If off-licences could be trusted to stay open, churches could too, he said.