There are 3 types of antigen test results:
Positive antigen test result
If you have a positive (detected) antigen test result you need to:
- self-isolate (stay in your room)
- wear a medical grade or respirator face mask if you have to be around other people
- report your positive test result
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.
If you have a vaccine appointment
Do not go to a vaccine appointment if you currently have COVID-19 (confirmed by a PCR or antigen test).
You should wait:
- 4 months if you are due to get a booster dose or additional dose (immunocompromised)
- 4 weeks if you are due to get your first round of COVID-19 vaccination
Phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 to get a new appointment date.
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:
- poorly ventilated
- hard to avoid close contact with people
- 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.
Last updated: 8 September 2022 at 4.30pm