If you are a close contact of COVID-19

If you are a close contact of a person that tests positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus), there's a chance that you may have COVID-19 too.

You'll need to follow the advice on this page to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19.

What you need to do depends on if you are:

What do household and non-household close contact mean?

What does household close contact mean?

You are a household close contact if you:

  • live or sleep in the same home as a person who has tested positive
  • use a kitchen or bathroom in shared accommodation with a person who has tested positive
  • are a sexual partner of a person who has tested positive

What does non-household close contact mean?

You are a non-household close contact if you spend more than a total of 15 minutes of face-to-face contact with someone who had a positive PCR test. This contact can happen over a 24 hour period and you must have been within 2 metres of that person.

What does fully vaccinated against COVID-19 mean?

You are fully vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • 7 days after your second Pfizer/BioNTech dose - also known as ‘Comirnaty’
  • 15 days after your second AstraZeneca dose - this vaccine may be called ‘Vaxzevria’ or ‘Covishield’
  • 14 days after your second Moderna dose - also known as ‘Spikevax’
  • 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘Janssen’ - this is a single dose vaccine

What to do if you are a close contact

Household close contact who is fully vaccinated

Here's what you need to do if you are a household close contact who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Testing

You need to do 3 antigen tests with 2 days between each test.

This does not apply if you had a positive PCR test in the last 9 months.

If you have a weak immune system, you may also be offered a COVID-19 PCR test by text message.

Restricted movements

You need to restrict your movements (stay at home) for 5 days from when you get the close contact text message from the HSE.

This does not apply if you had a positive PCR test in the last 9 months.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have or develop symptoms of COVID-19 you need to:

Do these even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Non-household close contact who is fully vaccinated

Here's what you need to do if you are a non-household close contact who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Testing

You need to do 3 antigen tests with 2 days between each test.

This does not apply if you had a positive PCR test in the last 9 months.

You do not need to get a PCR test unless:

If you have a weak immune system, you may be offered a COVID-19 PCR test by text message.

Restricted movements

You do not need to restrict your movements (stay at home).

But, if any of your antigen tests are positive, you should self-isolate (stay in your room) and get a COVID-19 PCR test.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have or develop symptoms of COVID-19 you need to:

Do these even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Any close contact who is not fully vaccinated

If you are a close contact who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the advice is the same whether you're a household or non-household close contact. It also applies to partially vaccinated people too.

Testing

You need to get a COVID-19 PCR test. We will send you a text message to arrange this. Some people will need to do 2 PCR tests. We will let you know if you need to.

But, if you had positive PCR test in the past 9 months you do not need another test unless you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

If you had COVID-19 over 9 months ago, you need to get the PCR test we arrange for you as a close contact.

Restricted movements

You need to restrict your movements (stay at home) for 14 days from when you get the close contact text message from the HSE.

You can stop restricting your movements if you get a negative PCR test result on day 10. That is, 10 full days after your last contact with the person who tested positive.

If you had a positive PCR test in the past 9 months, you do not need to restrict your movements.

If you're caring for someone who cannot self-isolate, you need to restrict your movements for 17 days. This could be a child, older person or someone with a disability.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have or develop symptoms of COVID-19 you need to:

Do these even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Last updated: 3 December 2021 at 5.05pm

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