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We are at full capacity for COVID-19 tests and need to prioritise people who have symptoms. Close contacts will not be tested during this time. If you are a close contact you need to restrict your movements (stay at home), even if you feel well. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your GP for further advice.

Contact tracing identifies people who were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (coronavirus).

It is done to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The people who do this work are 'contact tracers'.

If you test positive

If you test positive for COVID-19 a contact tracer will call you and text you. They will ask for contact details for any of your close contacts.

If you test positive and have symptoms

They will ask about people and places you have visited 48 hours before your symptoms started and until you started self-isolating.

If you test positive but do not have symptoms

They will only ask about people and places you have visited 24 hours before your test took place and until you started self-isolating.

They do not ask about people you may have passed by on the street or in a shop. In these situations, there is practically no risk in passing on the virus, especially if you are practicing social distancing.

Contact tracing is confidential. Anyone a contact tracer calls will not know it was you who gave them their contact details.

COVID Tracker app

The contact tracer will also ask if you have been using the COVID Tracker app.

If you have been, they'll ask you to use the upload function to alert your close contacts. You do this using the app. It's your choice if you want to do this.

If you agree, they'll send you a unique upload code by text message. This code unlocks the upload functionality on the app.

Read more about the COVID Tracker app and how it works.

If you are a close contact

If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive you will get either:

  • a text message with advice
  • an alert on your mobile phone, if you're using the COVID Tracker app

You will have to restrict your movements (stay at home) for 14 days.

We are not referring close contacts for testing at the moment. We are prioritising people with symptoms.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your GP for further advice.

Close contacts of travellers from Great Britain or South Africa

If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive after arriving into Ireland from Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) or South Africa, phone your GP. They will prioritise you for a COVID-19 test even though we are not currently testing close contacts in general.

Essential healthcare workers

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

Read more about close contacts and advice you will need to follow

Related topics

Close and casual contacts

Restricted movements

Treat COVID-19 symptoms at home

Travel advice from the Government

Last updated: 1 January 2021 at 7.25pm

Join the Fight Against Coronavirus.

Download the CovidTracker app
COVID Tracker app on phone