THE STORMONT Executive wants to have all aspects of Northern Ireland's economy up and running again - including hairdressers and gyms - by July 20 at the very latest.
With a significant and consistent drop in deaths and new infection rates from coronavirus, attention has now turned to restarting our decimated business and retail sectors.
Ministers are under pressure to bring forward plans to ease lockdown by reopening cafes and restaurants on June 29 with strict social distancing measures in place.
Hairdressers and gyms will likely follow within three weeks, with a provisional July 20 date to match that of the reopening of hotels being discussed - but it could be earlier.
Wider social bubbles allowing a greater number of households physical contact should also be introduced by then.
Yesterday saw people who live alone in Northern Ireland allowed to interact with another household for the first time in 12 weeks, with some grandparents finally able to hug their grandchildren.
Movie lovers later flocked to the Titanic Quarter in Belfast for outdoor screenings of films including Toy Story with all proceeds donated to Covid-19 research.
Indoor workplaces are also set to reopen by July 20, with staff being able to return in larger numbers should, as expected, the two-metre social distancing guideline be reduced to one metre.
An Executive source told Sunday Life: "The plan is to have the economy brought back to life by July 20 at the very latest, that's the date we are working towards.
"There should be an announcement later in the week in regards to this and the easing of other lockdown measures."
Assembly insiders admit Northern Ireland's recovery plan will mirror that of the Irish Government where set dates have been announced for each stage. In the Republic the reopening of hotels, restaurants and bars which serve food and provide table service will happen on June 29. Hairdressers there are also expected to get the go-ahead to reopen on the same date.
"We've been consistent about this any time we've been asked," added our insider. "We will look at indicative dates again this week and make decisions.
"If there is a pub, restaurant or hairdressers open in Dundalk, it would be foolish to have the same businesses closed in Newry. Our steps out of lockdown will match the south."
The accelerated easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland has been made possible because of the fall in infection and death rates.
There were another two deaths here yesterday, but crucially just three new positive test results.
The recorded death toll now stands at 541 with 4,841 recorded Covid-19 cases.
However, figures provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency paint a bleaker picture. By June 5 fatalities where the virus is mentioned on a death certificate were 779, although the weekly average has been falling since the end of April. The R number which measures the rate of infection is currently between 0.5 and 0.9, meaning that every person with the virus infects less than one other.
The early lifting of some aspects of lockdown has been possible because this value has stayed below 1, but any increase over that may result in restrictions being reintroduced.
As Northern Ireland takes tentative steps towards recovery, gym owners are the latest to add their voices to demands for the Executive to provide firm dates for reopening.
Ex-world champion boxer Brian Magee, who owns Magee Health and Fitness, told Sunday Life how he has not taken a penny in income since his business was forced to close in March.
He said: "We need to be given a reopening date to work towards because at the minute we are in complete limbo.
"I've had no income for three months. I actually cancelled a lot of our members' direct debits when lockdown first came in because I didn't want them paying for a service they weren't getting.
"We've been running online and outdoor classes, but it's not the same," added Belfast-based Brian.
Danny Glenn, who owns Uturn Fitness in Derry, is in complete agreement.
At the beginning of lockdown he loaned out more than £10,000 of gym equipment to clients to make sure they could stay in shape while his business was closed.
Danny has been trying to compensate with outdoor classes, but these are heavily dependent on the weather.
"We need the government to tell us when we can reopen, it's not a big ask, and it would be a huge boost to gyms across the country," he said.
When gyms do reopen, they will be subjected to strict social distancing and hygiene guidelines - something that will put a huge dent in their finances. Cleaning contractor costs have doubled as has the price of simple everyday items like blue roll.
Sources at Belfast City Council, which operates 14 leisure centres, explained how more than £300,000 will be spent on personal protection equipment for staff.
They estimate that the closure of all of Northern Ireland's leisure centres is costing councils in the region of £1m per week in lost revenue.
One insider said: "Before coronavirus, a seven-litre refillable container of sanitiser cost £17, now it costs £54. That's one example of the 300% price increases we are having to budget for."
Sunday Life understands that nine of Belfast's 14 leisure centre gyms are scheduled to reopen in mid July, with four outdoor pitches at Whiterock, Ballysillan, Grove and Girdwood also set to welcome the public again. Loughside and Belvoir, where social distancing is harder to achieve, will remain closed.
But in other council areas it is more likely to be well into August before leisure centres reopen.
Belfast City Council sources say this will have an impact on staff levels, with several remaining on furlough because there is no work for them.
One explained: "When the leisure centres do reopen there will be no receptionists and because swimming pools are closed for the foreseeable future, lifeguards will stay on furlough.
"Changing rooms will also be closed meaning anyone using the centres will have to get changed and showered at home.
"The bottom line is we have to reopen leisure centres soon; if we don't we are looking at permanent closures."