It comes after Stormont ministers agreed earlier this month that restrictions could be eased due to falling cases of coronavirus.
Hospitality businesses must only operate outdoors, with table service and limited numbers per table.
Caravans and self-contained tourist accommodation can also now reopen.
Gyms and swimming pools, including those based in leisure centres, can only open for individual training or for one-to-one coaching with a personal trainer.
Restrictions on meeting up outside have also been slightly further eased, with 15 people from three households allowed to meet in a private garden.
Hospitality businesses – licensed and unlicensed – can reopen but only for outdoor service, limited to six people from two households at a table.
Earlier closing times for takeaway businesses and off-licences, imposed at the onset of the lockdown in December, have also been removed.
However, Ms Long said it was important to acknowledge those whose businesses have collapsed due to the pandemic.
“I’ve been speaking to business owners all of this week and they’ve been talking about how incredibly challenging the winter was.
“And I think it’s really important to remember that there are a large number of businesses that are no longer with us, and for each and every business owner and family who relies on that business, that is a tragedy.”
However, Health Minister Robin Swann has warned the hospitality industry not to seek or promote cross-border business, while there is a disparity in Covid vaccination numbers.
On Thursday the government in the Republic announced a phased relaxation of its highest level of Covid-19 lockdown rules over the coming weeks and months.
The country has been at Level Five restrictions since Christmas.
From 10 May, people can travel outside their county and close contact services and click and collect retail can resume.
The Stormont Executive’s advice remains that people in Northern Ireland should “stay local”.
Ministers have given an indicative date of 24 May for hospitality businesses to be allowed to resume trading indoors, but this will need to be approved on 13 May at the next review of the coronavirus restrictions.
This would also include the reopening of tourist accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs.
There has been some confusion around the implementation of Covid-19 regulations for outdoor hospitality venues in NI.
Some venues in Derry have been told they cannot reopen as their outdoor seating areas do not adhere to regulations from the executive.
An industry body said on Thursday that the majority of hospitality businesses had failed last-minute inspections for reopening.
The Department of Health said the general rule of thumb was that outdoor premises should not be more than 50% enclosed – a requirement supported by a statement from the Executive Office on Thursday.
The legislation states that a premises is substantially enclosed if it has a ceiling or roof but there is “an opening in the walls”.
Responsibility for enforcing the regulations on outdoor areas rests with local councils.Tags: