If your child is told to isolate from other people

If your child is told to isolate they need to:

  • stay at home
  • avoid contact with other people in the household - except for their carer

It's not possible to ask young children to isolate on their own. They will need an adult to look after them and help reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Read what you and other people in your household need to do

Adults or children over 13 should follow separate advice on self-isolation

When your child will need to isolate from other people

You will need to isolate your child from other people if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

Less common symptoms include:

Your child may not have all of these symptoms. Symptoms may vary for different age groups or variants of the virus. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show.

Even if your child's symptoms are very mild, keep them at home for 48 hours and phone your GP for advice.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to symptoms of cold, flu or hay fever. If you are in doubt about any symptoms your child has, phone your GP.

Your child may also need a test for COVID-19.

Read advice on what people need to do when self-isolating

When your child needs to restrict their movements

Your child can restrict their movements instead of isolating if they are:

  • a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have no symptoms
  • living with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19

They still have to stay home, including from school or childcare. But they do not have to avoid contact with other people in your household.

Read advice on how to restrict your movements (stay at home)

Your child does not need to isolate or restrict their movements if they have no symptoms and they:

  • are fully vaccinated
  • have had a positive COVID-19 PCR test result in the past 9 months

But the HSE may ask that they restrict their movements in certain situations. For example, due to an outbreak of concern or if your child is a close contact of a variant of concern. Always follow public health advice.

If your child develops symptoms, they will need to get a test for COVID-19.

What we mean by fully vaccinated against COVID-19

You are fully vaccinated:

  • 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

How long your child needs to isolate from other people

If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, they need to stay in isolation at least until they get a negative test result.

If their test result is positive, they should keep isolating until both of these apply:

  • they have not had a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or over) for 5 days
  • it has been 10 days since they first developed symptoms

If your child has no symptoms but was tested because they are a close contact, they can stop restricting their movements 10 days from when they had their test.

Read about what they need to do if their test result is negative

Choose one carer to look after your child

Only one person should look after your child while they isolate. This should be someone who is in good health and fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if possible.

Ideally, it should not be someone who:

  • has a long-term illness
  • has a weak immune system
  • is older than 70

People in these groups are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Household contacts and restricted movements

People in your household who are not fully vaccinated will need to:

The 17 days includes the 10 days your child is in isolation and a further 7 days after the isolation.

People in your household do not have to restrict their movements if they:

  • are fully vaccinated
  • had a positive COVID-19 PCR test result in the past 9 months

But the HSE may ask you to restrict your movements in certain situations. For example, due to an outbreak of concern or if your child is a close contact of a variant of concern. Always follow public health advice.

What we mean by fully vaccinated against COVID-19

You are fully vaccinated:

  • 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

If anyone else in your house has symptoms or becomes ill

Even if they are fully vaccinated, anyone who develops symptoms should self-isolate and get a COVID-19 PCR test.

Last updated: 20 September 2021 at 2.48pm

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