Ministers have been warned there could be 11,000 Omicron variant cases each day in Northern Ireland in a worst-case scenario by the end of December.
There are now 210 confirmed cases, but sources advise that the real number could be up to 10 times those detected.
Health officials said a “significant intervention” could be needed after Christmas.
Projections about Covid patient numbers were shown to ministers on Thursday but no further restrictions were announced.
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan said “more clarity” was needed on the link between the variant and hospitalisations.
The executive is next expected to meet on Wednesday.