Hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen operations outdoors from 30 April.
Licensed and unlicensed premises will be allowed to welcome customers outdoors with a limit of up to six people from two households per table.
Furthermore, overnight visits in self-contained tourist accommodation will be allowed for one household.
Leaked reports to the media previously suggested that the sector would not reopen until 10 May, with indoor dining unable to resume until later in June.
Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: “This movement by the Executive in bringing forward new dates which reflect the data is to be welcomed after the huge amount of anxiety was caused by the previous dates leaked to the media this morning.
“There are still several weeks to go for outdoor to be opened and five weeks still to go for indoor hospitality, but we now have dates and a timescale to work with. Whilst these are indicative dates, especially for the reopening of indoor, it is hoped that the programme can be accelerated.”
He added: “Hope is now on the horizon and for those who have been able to survive this devastating period it is now time for them to prepare their businesses for the long awaited resumption of trading.
“It is now in everyone’s interest that we make sure that all precautions are taken to get us through these next few weeks safely.”