Close Covid contacts to get antigen tests

From today, the HSE will begin registering fully vaccinated, asymptomatic close contacts for antigen tests.

All close contacts will get a text message which states that if not fully vaccinated and / or symptomatic they will be referred for a PCR test and if fully vaccinated and asymptomatic 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 we are requesting close contacts book a PCR test – as part of that booking process they will be asked to tick that they had a positive antigen result. 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.