The Government needs to make sure it has tools at its disposal to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
That's according to Justice Minister Helen McEntee.
She was speaking after the Cabinet heard of plans to draft new laws around mandatory mask wearing in certain settings.
Ministers backed the move in case there is a large surge in the winter.
However, there are no plans to introduce a mandate at the moment with no settings identified.
Minister McEntee told The Hard Shoulder we have to be prepared for future events.
"It really is about preparing ourselves, and just making sure that we have options available to us should we need them.
"It's not the direction I want to go in, it's not the direction anyone wants to go in again.
"But I think... we just need to be prepared here".
She says this is about having options if they are needed.
"This is not to draft legislation and to come back and approve it - this is to kind of look at what potentially could be required if things were to get worse.
"And I think if we've learnt anything over the last two years is that fail to prepare, prepare to fail - to use that old saying.
"But it's about making sure that if things were to significantly decrease that we have some options available to us to make sure that we try mitigate".