Changes in the Covid-19 PCR testing criteria means that only certain groups now need to be tested by PCR.
You can get a PCR test if you have symptoms and you:
· are age 55 or older and have not had a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose
· have a high-risk medical condition
· have a weak immune system (immunocompromised)
· live in the same household as a person who has a weak immune system or provide support or care for them
· are pregnant
· are a healthcare worker
You do not need a test if you are:
· under 55 years of age with symptoms of Covid-19 and you are otherwise healthy
· age 55 or older and you are fully boosted, even if you have symptoms of Covid 19
There are 2 types of free Covid-19 tests available from the HSE:
· antigen tests (home test kits)
· PCR tests (done at a test centre and sent to a lab)
If you have a positive antigen test, you can book a PCR test if you need a COVID-19 Recovery Cert.
If you are a healthcare worker and you are a household close contact, you can get antigen tests if you:
· do not have symptoms of Covid-19
· have not had Covid-19 in the past 3 months
If you are a healthcare worker and you have symptoms of Covid-19, get a PCR test.
Antigen tests are not recommended for children under the age of 4.
You can also get HSE antigen tests if you have symptoms and you need to make a social welfare claim if you are off work because of Covid-19.
If you are a close contact of a person that tests positive for Covid-19 (coronavirus), you should:
· watch out for symptoms of Covid-19
· take extra care to follow the advice on protecting others from Covid-19, in case you have the virus
· If you are at very high risk or high risk of serious illness from Covid-19, you should take extra care to watch out for symptoms. For example, if you have a weak immune system. If you develop any symptoms of Covid-19, get a PCR test as soon as possible.
Acting Head of Primary Care Mandy Doyle said: “Covid-19 is still present in our lives and communities. People should continue to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene by washing and sanitising hands regularly, coughing/sneezing into your elbow and anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate immediately.”
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