COVID-19 antigen test results

There are 3 types of antigen test results:

Positive antigen test result

If you have a positive (detected) antigen test result you need to:

Recovery certificate

Reporting a positive antigen test cannot be used as proof of recovery to get a COVID-19 Recovery Certificate.

You need a PPS number to report your result online. If you do not have one, freephone HSE Live on 1800 700 700 to report your result and list your contacts.

How long to self-isolate

You should self-isolate (stay in your room) as soon as you notice symptoms of COVID-19 or get a positive COVID-19 test result.

Self-isolate for 7 full days, including day 7 itself.

Start from the date you first had symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, it's 7 days from the date of your first positive result.

You can stop isolating after 7 days if your symptoms are fully or mostly gone for the last 48 hours.

It's OK to stop self-isolating even if you have a mild cough or changes to your sense of smell – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone.

How to self-isolate

After your 7 days of self-isolation

When you stop self-isolating after 7 days, you need to take extra care for another 3 days to reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 on.

Be especially careful in places that are:

  • crowded
  • enclosed
  • poorly ventilated
  • hard to avoid close contact with people

You should:

  • limit close contact with other people outside your household
  • wear a face covering
  • avoid contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  • work from home unless it is essential to go to work in person
  • follow all the usual advice on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19

People you live with

You need to provide details of people you live with if they:

  • are a healthcare worker
  • have a weak immune system (immunocompromised)
  • have a high risk medical condition

You can do this on the report a positive antigen test result and list contacts website.

Negative antigen test result

If you have a negative (not detected) antigen test result, you need to report your negative antigen result. This helps us learn more about antigen testing.

A negative test does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. It just means that the virus was not found on the sample you took.

Continue to follow the public health advice on how to protect yourself and others.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, continue to self-isolate until you've had no symptoms for 48 hours.

Invalid test result

If you have an invalid test result, do another test.

Page last reviewed: 8 September 2022