Hairdressers and beauticians may be allowed to trade as early as next month amid a push from ministers to accelerate reopening.
At present, the phased plan does not envisage so-called higher-risk contact services such as hairdressing, barbers and beauticians being allowed to trade until July 20 as part of phase four of the roadmap.
However, a memo brought to Cabinet last Friday said there would be engagement with certain sectors about how they plan to reopen while adhering to strict public health guidelines.
The memo is said to have specifically referenced personal services such as hairdressing.
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan raised the issue with her ministerial colleagues at the Cabinet meeting, arguing that the reopening of hairdressers, barbers and beauticians could be brought forward into phase three of the plan, which would see them open from June 29.
Ms Madigan also argued for museums and galleries to be allowed to reopen from June 29 if they can apply social distancing rules. The roadmap for reopening currently states that these should not open until phase four on July 20. Ms Madigan is believed to have argued that museums and galleries have already started to reopen in other countries.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is said to have been open to the proposal, along with other requests from ministers to speed up the process if the spread of the virus remains low. A Cabinet source said ministers were now being "very assertive" in arguing for sectors they are responsible to be allowed to reopen sooner.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education has been instructed to come up with a plan for how to reopen schools. Mr Varadkar asked for the plan after he said last week that reopening schools could be "among the safest things" to do in the coming months.
He was later contradicted by the chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, who does not anticipate schools will return before their scheduled reopening in September.
Ministers are keen to set out a clear plan in order to avoid the debacle over the Leaving Cert which was initially scheduled to begin at the end of July, before being effectively cancelled in favour of a grading system that will be overseen by the department.
Education Minister Joe McHugh has also set up a working group to examine how to expand educational supports to children with disabilities over the summer. The group is looking at extending the so-called 'July Provision' which funds an extra month's education for children with a severe or profound learning disability or children with autism. It is likely the scheme, which benefits around 10,000 children, will be extended to more children and operate over the summer.
Fianna Fail education spokesman Thomas Byrne has written to Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon and the Department of Education requesting that Mr Muldoon be formally involved in the discussions on reopening schools as "an independent voice of the child".
In a letter to Mr Muldoon, Mr Byrne said: "You publicly intervened twice at key moments in the controversy surrounding the Leaving Certificate exams. I am concerned about the process the department is using, which reportedly involves high levels of confidentiality among participants, while at the same time leaks appear daily in the press. This leads to confusion and stress."
He added: "One of the key lessons from the debate around the Leaving Certificate has been that young people's interests were not considered to the level necessary from the outset. Instead, the focus was initially on protecting the integrity of the exams.
"While this is obviously important, it could never have trumped issues around the mental health of young people, public health more generally and emerging issues surrounding the digital divide. These issues are also relevant to school reopenings. I believe that we should learn from the experience of the Leaving Certificate and avoid a repeat of the stress and anxiety which was created."
Mr McHugh's spokesman said the minister was engaging with the ombudsman.
Elsewhere, ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin have established an expert group to provide guidance to sporting bodies on how to prepare for a phased return to sporting activity. The group includes representatives from Sport Ireland, the IRFU, the FAI, the GAA and the disability sport organisation CARA.