First Minister Arlene Foster said it is “probable” that the new variant of Covid-19 is already in Northern Ireland.
It comes as the Stormont Executive agreed that Christmas bubbles should be limited to the one day.
Mrs Foster has said people should take ‘personal responsibility’ for this as police will not be ‘Knocking on peoples doors on Christmas Day’.
Ministers met remotely on Sunday night to discuss the impact of the variant on Christmas rules.
The Executive said there would be flexibility on which day between 23rd – 27th December that people come together, due to those working on Christmas Day.
Those living in the more infected areas are already prohibited from travelling.
Mrs Foster said the new bubble rules would be placed in law but she does not expect police to be “knocking on people’s doors on Christmas Day or Boxing Day to check they are abiding by the law”