If you get a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 (coronavirus), you need to self-isolate (stay in your room) for 7 days.
There is a high risk you could spread the virus to other people. Do this even if you completed your first round of COVID-19 vaccination, had a booster or had a positive PCR test in the past.
If you are at the highest risk of serious illness from COVID-19, there are new treatments that may be suitable for you.
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
If your symptoms get worse
If you start to feel very unwell, phone your GP or GP out-of-hours. Do this if your breathing changes or becomes difficult or your cough gets worse.
Immediate action required: Call 112 or 999 if:
- you are very short of breath and your GP is not available
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.
You need to 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.
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 on COVID-19.
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 medical or respirator face covering
- avoid contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
- follow all the usual advice on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19
- work from home, if possible
People you live with
You need to provide details of people you live with if they:
- have a weak immune system (immunocompromised)
- have a high risk medical condition
You can do this on the list your contacts website.
How long to go back
If you had symptoms of COVID-19 before your test, include people you live with from 48 hours before you developed symptoms.
If you did not have symptoms of COVID-19 before your test, include people you live with from 24 hours before your test.
You can request a certificate of recovery from 11 days after your positive PCR test. These certificates are issued by the Government, not by the HSE.
Last updated: 8 September 2022 at 4pm