Stormont ministers are expected to agree a timetable for reopening society that will cover several months when they meet on Thursday, Michelle O'Neill has said.
The deputy First Minister told her Assembly scrutiny committee she thought she and First Minister Arlene Foster would be making a "very hopeful and positive announcement" on Thursday.
"Myself and Arlene have been speaking with officials for some time saying that we wanted to see dates put to this (the lockdown exit plan)," she told the Executive Office committee.
"So I'm glad that now, I'm hopeful actually that tomorrow the Executive will be able to sign off on dates on what it look likes for the next number of months."
Ms O'Neill said given recent turbulent events in Northern Ireland it was important to give people "something to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead".
She added: "We think we'll have a very hopeful and positive announcement to make tomorrow."
It comes as the Department of Health reported one further coronavirus death during past 24 hours.
The official death toll now stands at 2,130.
97 new cases of the disease have also been confirmed.
There are 70 coronavirus patients in hospital, with 8 in ICU, 5 of whom are on ventilators.
The average 7-day incidence rate per 100,000 is 41.5.
The area with the highest rate remains Derry & Strabane on 101.5, while the lowest remains Lisburn & Castlereagh on 21.4.
'Covid fatigue risks itself mutating into Covid despair' - Swann
Northern Ireland's health minister has said the "scales are tipping in favour of relaxing" some of the coronavirus restrictions.
Robin Swann also said there is a possibility of "accelerating that process".
"Covid fatigue risks itself mutating into Covid despair," he said.
"Frustration is growing and, if unchecked, it may impact on adherence with public health advice, I don't want to see that, the people working in our health service don't want to see, as we know the consequences.
"We must avoid that because continuing to follow that advice will allow us all to do more.
He said the "time is now right" for the Executive to proceed with further easing of restrictions.
Mr Swann said that should include "some indicative dates to let people and businesses look ahead with greater optimism".
At the weekend, Northern Ireland reached the milestone of one million vaccine jabs having been given.
Other relaxations on Monday saw the number of people who can meet outdoors in a garden, including children, increase from six to 10.
Click-and-collect services for non-essential retail also resumed.
Outdoor sports training is now allowed for recognised clubs, in groups of up to 15, provided all indoor facilities except toilets remain closed.
The number of people allowed to attend marriage and civil partnership ceremonies has also increased, at a level informed by a risk assessment for the venue.