The Cabinet has agreed that people can travel beyond their county until the end of St Stephen's Day, 26 December, according to political sources.
Household visits will be reduced to one other household from 27 December and no inter-county travel will be allowed until at least January 12.
Restaurants and gastro pubs must close at 3pm on Christmas Eve.
Travel restrictions from Britain will remain until 31 December.
From 1 January no household mixing will be allowed except for compassionate reasons.
Hairdressers are to close on Christmas Eve. Non-essential retail to remain open and gyms for individual training only.
No decision made on retail after Christmas.