HSE to begin antigen testing today

The plan was announced last week.

Antigen tests are to be sent to some Covid-19 close contacts who are fully vaccinated from today.

The HSE announced the plan last week, with the first tests to be sent today.

All close contacts will get a text message which states that if they are not fully vaccinated, or if they have Covid symptoms, they will be referred for a PCR test.

If they are fully vaccinated and don’t have symptoms they will be sent antigen tests to do at home.

The text message will be followed up by a call from the contact tracers who will go through their vaccination history, symptoms and do the referral as appropriate for either PCR or antigen testing.

The contact tracer will take address details and antigen tests will be delivered by An Post in the regular post.

Close contacts who fall into the category for antigen testing will receive a box of 5 antigen tests and will be asked to do 3 tests – the first test on the day they receive their test kit, the second test two days later and the third test two days after that.

If antigen tests are positive they will be asked to book in for a PCR test.

Similarly, if a close contact develops symptoms while they are in the process of doing antigen testing they need to self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Those whose antigen tests are negative are also asked to report their negative results via the HSE website.