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If you are aged 50 to 69 you can now register to get a COVID-19 vaccine

Stay at home – Ireland is at level 5.
Read about the
current government restrictions on gov.ie

Close contacts of a variant of concern

If you're a close contact of a person that tests positive for a COVID-19 (coronavirus) variant of concern you need to:

  • get tested for COVID-19
  • self-isolate (stay in your room) for 14 days

A variant of concern is a more infectious strain of the virus.

There is different advice for close contacts of a person that tests positive for a regular strain of COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Read advice on traveling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic on gov.ie

When you can stop self-isolating early

You can stop self-isolating early when both apply:

  • You have a negative test (COVID-19 not detected) 10 days after you were last in contact with the person who tested positive.
  • You do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering or mask for the next 7 days.

Children who are close contacts

The information on this page is for adults and children over the age of 13 who are told they are close contacts.

Read advice on what to do if your child is a close contact of COVID-19 in school or childcare

Essential healthcare workers

If you are an essential healthcare worker, phone your manager and occupational health department. Do not go to work until you have spoken to them.

Your COVID-19 test

If you are a close contact, you will get a text message with a:

  • link to the ‘Book a test’ webpage
  • 6-digit code to enter on the webpage

Most people will need 2 COVID-19 tests.

First test

When you book online, you will get a text message with an appointment date and details for your first COVID-19 test. Your first test appointment will be scheduled for as soon as possible.

Second test

Your second test will usually be scheduled for 10 days after you were last in contact with the person who tested positive. If your last contact with this person was more than 8 days ago, you will only have one test.

If you do not book a test online

Our contact tracing team will phone you and arrange testing over the phone if you:

  • decide not to book a test online
  • do not successfully book a test online

The quickest way to book your test is to book online.

Do not phone your GP. They cannot arrange tests for close contacts. They can only arrange a test if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, self-isolate (stay at home) and phone your GP or GP out-of-hours service. They will tell you if you need a test.

Contact tracing

What other people you live with need to do

The people you live with do not need to restrict their movements. They can continue to go to work, school, preschool or childcare as long as they do not have symptoms.

If your first test is negative

If your first test was less than 10 days after your last contact and is negative (COVID-19 not detected), you need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

If your first test was at least 10 days after your last contact and you have no symptoms you can stop self-isolating. Continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering or mask for the next 7 days.

You will not need a second test.

If your second test is negative

You can stop self-isolating if you:

  • have a negative test (COVID-19 not detected) 10 days after your last contact with the person who tested positive
  • do not have any symptoms of COVID-19

Continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering or mask for the next 7 days.

If you develop symptoms after a negative test

If you get a negative test result and you then develop symptoms, self-isolate and phone your GP.

Tell your GP that you were tested as a close contact of a variant of concern and you have since developed symptoms of COVID-19. The GP will discuss referring you for another free COVID-19 test.

Read more about self-isolation (staying in your room)

If a first or second test is positive

You will need to self-isolate if you test positive.

Most people can stop self-isolating when both of these apply:

  • you have had no fever for 5 days
  • it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms or from the date of your test if you did not have symptoms

Your close contacts will need to restrict their movements for at least 10 days from their last contact with you. A contact tracer will call you to find out who you were in close contact with.

If symptoms of COVID-19 get worse

If you start to feel very unwell, phone your GP or GP out-of-hours. Particularly if your breathing changes or becomes difficult, or your cough gets worse.

If you are very short of breath and your GP is not available, call the emergency services on 112 or 999.

Find a GP

Find a GP out-of-hours

If you had a previous positive test and you are now a close contact of someone with COVID-19

You tested positive in the past 2 weeks

You do not need another test. If you receive a test appointment, you do not need to attend. Complete the 10 days of self-isolation (stay in your room).

You tested positive more than 2 weeks ago

You will be referred for another test. You need to self-isolate until you get the result of your test and further advice.

If the first test is negative, you will need to:

  • continue to self-isolate
  • have a second test 10 days after you were last in contact with the person who tested positive

If your second test is negative, you will no longer need to self-isolate. But continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering or mask for the next 7 days.

Supports

There is a wide range of supports available for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These include:

  • community support from local authorities
  • financial and employment supports
  • mental health supports and services
  • support if you cannot self-isolate at home
  • helplines for Irish Travellers and Roma

Read more about supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Related topics

Close and casual contacts

Contact tracing

The difference between self-isolating and restricted movements

Last updated: 4 May 2021 at 2pm

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