First Minister Arlene Foster says Northern Ireland is now at a “tipping point” over the spread of Covid-19.
The Health Department recorded a further two coronavirus-related deaths over the weekend, bringing its total to 570.
A further 109 people tested positive in the most recent 24-hour reporting period.
Speaking at Stormont on Monday, the DUP leader insisted the Executive is not “scaremongering” on the threat posed by a fresh wave of infections.
It comes after localised restrictions were imposed on Belfast, Ballymena and a number of other postcodes.
"Let me say this to the Assembly and indeed anyone else listening - we are at a tipping point in relation to Covid-19," said Ms Foster.
"There are those who think that we are scaremongering about this issue and I just want to address that - we are not, we are not.
"We are in constant contact with our chief medical officer and again today I am advised that the postcodes which we have particular concern about that concern is very much still there.
"And I do not want to see that spreading across Northern Ireland - we have to act to stop that spreading across Northern Ireland and actually stop people in those postcode areas from spreading Covid-19."