What are the five most pressing factors in the fight against Covid-19 in Northern Ireland at the moment?
The emergence of new variants of coronavirus has led to disagreements on what approach should be taken towards travel on the island of Ireland. It's not the first time the Dublin government and the Executive have been out of step with each other.
First Minister Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill earlier this month revealed the "frustration" of ministers at what they describe as the failure of the Dublin government to provide locator forms about people flying into the Republic and then travelling to Northern Ireland.
As the Dublin government is expected on Tuesday to bring in mandatory quarantine for arrivals into Ireland without a negative Covid test, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said it is "belatedly" time for its "influence" to be used to ensure arrivals into Northern Ireland follow the same protocols as the south of the country.
“If there is a reservoir of the virus on this island, it places all of us in danger. The real issue we are facing now is travel onto the island. To keep people safe on this island, you have to adopt an all-island approach,” she said, speaking to RTE.
But DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has said it is "not tenable" to close air and ferry routes between mainland UK and Northern Ireland.
But Mr Donaldson said the border did not pose an issue. "We are linked into the UK commonly - for instance I have to travel to the UK regularly to attend the parliament. You’d have to shut down the entire public sector and infrastructure between Great Britain and Northern Ireland to completely prevent travel.
"People still need to make these essential journeys and we are not in a position to ban essential travel within the United Kingdom, just like the Irish government would not want to ban essential travel within Ireland," he said. "We have already said people should not journey across the Irish Sea if it is non essential."
Mr Donaldson said that if the Irish Government feels there should be checks along the border, then it should carry them out.
He said it is unfortunate it has not given access to traveller locator forms despite requests for them made by the Health Minister Robin Swann nine months ago.
A decision is set to be made this week on whether schools will reopen after the February half-term or remain closed until March 5 in line with the extension of restrictions.
Last week, First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said Education Minister Peter Weir and Health Minister Robin Swann would meet to discuss the issue, with a paper expected to be brought before the Executive this week.
Ms O'Neill acknowledged schools needed "certainty" and said she hoped clarity could be provided in the early part of this week.
"We know that families, teachers and support staff will rightly be concerned about what the evolving situation with restrictions means for the return to learning.
When asked whether it could be assumed school closures would fall in line with wider restrictions, Mrs Foster said: "I think it is important we do hear from the Education Minister. Special schools continue to operate and indeed for people who are key workers, they can also avail of school as well for their children.
"We need to review all of that, we also very much need to review what is coming down the line in relation to exam qualifications and hopefully there will be clarity in relation to how people are going to award qualifications over the next couple of weeks as well."
Meanwhile, Education Minister Peter Weir has also called for teachers to be given priority in the rollout of the Covid vaccine.
He said he had proposed the idea to fellow Stormont ministers because it would "enable continuity of learning".
Teachers in schools for children with special educational needs should be "very high up in the queue", he added.
More than 173,549 vaccines have so far been administered in Northern Ireland, of which 151,039 were first doses and 22,510 were second doses.
The actual number of vaccinations administered is thought to be even higher as it does not contain the GP vaccination figures, which will be updated on Monday.
It's thought up to 999,000 will be vaccinated here by the end of the spring if all goes well with the rollout of the vaccine, which has been a success story for Northern Ireland to date, despite the slowdown of delivery over the past week.
The Department of Health said it's due to a focus on healthcare workers coming to an end. Health trusts are now planning to invite clinically extremely vulnerable patients to receive their vaccine.
A letter from the Southern Health Trust sent to vaccinators working at South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon and seen by the BBC indicated that the need for some vaccinators would be "limited" in the next four to six weeks.
It said that there was not the same need for some vaccinators "because we have staff who require shifts delivering vaccines to make up their core working hours".
In a statement, the Department of Health said: "We are advised that as some services are currently stood down - eg school nurses - this has allowed staff from these services to be redeployed to the vaccination team.
"This has allowed other staff to be released from vaccinator shifts back to their substantive posts, given the pressures on hospital services.
"That is what the letter was referring to - not about any diminution of the vaccination centre's work."
The five party coalition
Michelle O'Neill and Arlene Foster were in agreement last week after they announced they restrictions here would be extended until March 5.
But the leaders and their parties have disagreed over their response towards the pandemic in the past, with Ms O'Neill attacking the DUP over their approach towards coronavirus in December.
"The DUP have worked against the entire public health team, they have worked against the entire executive," she said, speaking to RTE.
"There's a collective will with all the other parties in the executive to do more at different times during throughout pandemic. I think it's important that we distinguish the approach to the pandemic."
In response, Arlene Foster said Sinn Fein had decided they were above the law - after Ms O'Neill and other prominent party colleagues faced criticism for their attendance at the funeral of republican Bobby Storey in June at the height of restrictions, after which a police investigation was launched.
And in November, the DUP blocked the extension of coronavirus restrictions for two more weeks after an Executive vote.
Advice from Robin Swann's officials recommended keeping the measures in place for longer, but the DUP triggered a cross-community vote to effectively veto the proposals.
The Executive later settled on a compromise to extend the lockdown for a further week followed by a phased reopening of the hospitality sector.
Despite what appears to the public to be a harmonious approach in recent weeks, in a five party coalition, there remains the possibility that one party can veto decisions at the Executive - therefore slowing any decision made on restrictions in Northern Ireland.
The new variant of coronavirus, known as the Kent variant, is thought to be more deadly of older strains according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that the strain makes up at least 68% of all local cases but could also be as high as 83% due to travellers bringing the strain from south east England to Northern Ireland after travelling for Christmas.
According to the ONS, Northern Ireland had the third highest percentage of positive tests of the Kent variant between January 11 and 17 in the UK, surpassed only by London and the south east of England. The variant was first detected in Northern Ireland in December 2020 but testing capacity is thought to be limited.
And up to 3,000 people could have arrived here from Brazil and South Africa in recent weeks without the authorities knowing, leading one public health expert to claim that Covid-19 is "on tour" in Northern Ireland.
Keeping a lid on the prominence of the new variant is proving difficult due to a lack of information on travellers arriving in Dublin and crossing the border.
And the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has hit back at claims from Taoiseach Micheal Martin that testing for the new variant was not taking place here at all.
In a statement released on Sunday, it said the Regional Virus Laboratory (RVL) had reported over 200 genome sequences and that it is likely to increase its throughput to over 300 sequences next week and over 400 the following week.
"At present the UK, including NI as part of the COG-UK Consortium, is carrying out 40% of all global whole genome sequencing and is submitting its data... to share with other countries," the statement read.
The statement said that whole genome sequencing has been in place from an early stage of the pandemic and to suggest NI is inactive in this field "would be wholly incorrect - and is unfair to the dedicated, expert local staff working intensively in this area".
It's sure to cause worry for the Executive as they continue in their attempts to remove pressure from the health service amid worries they are behind in detecting the new strain.