Health Minister Robin Swann has said the two-metre social distancing rule will not be changed, although the guidance is under constant review.
This came after ministers in the Irish Government pushed for a reduction from two metres to one following the decision to do so by other European countries.
The move would be a major benefit for businesses seeking to reopen, while schools would be able to fit more students into classrooms when they return.
The social distancing rule remains at two metres here and is based on the spread of droplets that could contain the virus.
Speaking at Tuesday's Covid-19 daily briefing, Mr Swann explained that if the distance were reduced, that would also reduce the amount of time people can spend together.
"One thing we have to take into cognisance when we talk about reducing that distance apart, the viral load share at two metres is for anyone who is engaged for 15 minutes two metres apart," he said.
The minister said that the distance that people are apart is reduced, the amount of time needed to spread the virus is also reduced.
"When we do look at that, it has to be something that is done in conjunction as to where the virus is in Northern Ireland, and how we're looking at the concentration and the spread of the virus across the country," he said.
"It is something that we in the department and the special advisory group [do] keep regular cognisance of as well.
"We look at all worldwide guidance that comes in, but at this moment in time we are still maintaining the two-metre guidance."
Queen's University virologist Dr Connor Bamford was pleased that the debate was taking place but said there is currently not enough evidence to say which distance is safer.
"I think it is quite important that we're having this debate and I think it's especially important for businesses who are trying to get their regulations set up so they can work safely," he stated.
"In some industries two metres is actually quite difficult to enforce and you would have to put in extra safeguards, whereas one metre might not be that difficult to do.
"I think it's good that we're having the debate and we can do these things not too rigidly, but at the minute we don't really understand which is better and which is worse.
"It's quite hard to say but we do know that two metres is supported with a lot of evidence from other infectious diseases, where two metres is used like a rule of thumb.
"Two metres does keep people fairly safe."
Dr Bamford added that issues such as a gust of wind "throwing" someone's cough or breath makes social distancing irrelevant because the wind can carry Covid-19 particles a great distance.
"We don't have enough evidence to say that one is really safer than the other," he continued.
"I think we will get that evidence and when people do try it out, you will see that one metre may not make much of a difference in stopping the virus. It may just be as good as two metres.
"If you then look at putting in additional guards such as face masks or a face shield, or even Perspex between workers, all these things could really help out and allow us to use the one-metre rule.
"We should talk about it and have things in place but I think until we have the evidence that one way is better than the other, we don't want to go back to what it was like beforehand because we know that that was bad."