Coronavirus infections continue to surge in Northern Ireland, with 1,662 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the past 24 hours.
A further 6 deaths have also been reported by the region's Department of Health.
Some 507 people with Covid-19 are currently in the North's hospitals, with 36 patients in intensive care.
This comes as Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show she was concerned about the education and life chances of young people during the pandemic.
Primary pupils are to be taught remotely for the week from January 4th to 8th as the spread of Covid-19 shows no sign of reducing.
She said: “We will do all that we can to keep pupils in school.
“We do recognise that with this new mutant version of Covid-19 there are difficulties and it transmits among younger people, and we have to take that into consideration.
“I certainly don’t want to be in a position of keeping our young people at home.
“It is important that we get young people into schools again, but we have to have remote learning for a short period of time and I hope it is a short period of time.”
Recently Ms Foster's DUP colleague, Education Minister Peter Weir, announced the delayed return for many pupils.
Teaching unions in the North have called for remote education to be expanded to all in nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.