Northern Ireland will again shut non-essential retail, pubs and restaurants for two weeks from November 27 to save the health service from becoming swamped.
The North was poised to emerge from a limited circuit-breaker lockdown until the number of infections rose to worrying levels.
Close-contact services and cafes can open this Friday as planned but will have to close again next Friday, while other hospitality sectors like pubs and licensed restaurants will remain closed throughout, Stormont ministers said.
Takeaway hospitality will be allowed but leisure and entertainment venues will be closed.
The measures were taken as top doctors warned hospitals could otherwise be overwhelmed.