The new restrictions announced by the First Minister do not amount to a full lockdown. However, it’s hoped that they will be sufficient to curb the frightening rise that we have been seeing in coronavirus infections.
he brunt of the four-week measures will be borne by the hospitality sector, which will have to shut from Friday.
But the measures will have a chill factor on other parts of the economy which on the face of it aren’t affected.
Confidence is everything in business but even before Wednesday's announcement, some had been getting cold feet about going about their usual activity like appointments and meetings.
That eliminates the face-to-face (or facemask to facemask) contact that can seal business relationships and help get deals over the line.
Functions which were to have taken place within social-distancing guidelines will still be allowed up until Friday. After that, no mass gatherings will be permitted involving more than 15 people.
Organisations will be asking if it looks bad to go ahead with such plans before the changes are introduced.
So hotels and venues which had bookings this week are likely to face cancellations for events which were to take place before the changes come into force.
Workers with school-age children will also be thinking on their feet about how to look after their offspring during the extended half-term.
Childcare is to remain open and of course, bubble contact between families is still permitted. But what about the cost of an extra week of childcare?
And where parents are working from home, there’ll be an extra week of juggling work with childcare demands.
Bosses might have to contend with last-minute requests for extra time off - not to mention needing it themselves to take care of their own children.
For bars and restaurants, the restrictions are terrible news, and are leaving owners with tough questions about whether they can keep staff on.
The furlough scheme runs out at the end of the month, and employers had already been considering whether they could keep people on after the support runs out. The job support scheme which replaces furlough is a less generous form of subsidy, with government paying just 22% of a part-time worker’s salary.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said there will be grant support for the businesses which are forced to shut down.
But there is another universe of uncertainty and difficult questions for firms which will be losing out because of the domino effect of the four-week restrictions.
It may the bitter pill which has to be swallowed to save lives at risk from coronavirus - a goal that can't be reconciled with preserving livelihoods.