close contacts

Household close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases now must restrict movements for 5 days

The measures are effective immediately.

PEOPLE WHO ARE in the same household as someone with Covid-19 will now have to restrict their movements for five days, as part of new government advice on curbing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

If you are a close contact of a confirmed case in a household setting, and are showing no symptoms of Covid-19, you should restrict your movements, which means staying at home as much as possible to avoid contact with other people.

You should also take three antigen tests over the course of the five days, and if they all show up negative, you can stop restricting your movements at the end of the five-day period.

If an antigen test shows up as positive, or if you develop symptoms of Covid-19, you should seek a PCR test. The measure is effective immediately.

At a press briefing following the announcement this evening, the Taoiseach said that teachers are not exempt from this new advice on close contacts, contrary to claims from Labour leader Alan Kelly that the Taoiseach confirmed the exemption to him in the Dáil.

In a statement released after the Taoiseach said teachers are not excluded from the requirement, Kelly said Martin “clearly told me teachers were exempt”.

“I did not misconstruct what he said. Far from it,” Kelly said.

Up until today, close contacts who were fully vaccinated didn’t have to restrict their movements unless they had Covid-19 symptoms.

The HSE is advising that asymptomatic close contacts should do three antigen tests in total, and in this order:

  • The first test on the day you get your tests
  • The second test two days after your first test
  • The third test two days after your second test.

You can do the antigen tests at any time of the day, and log your antigen test results online. 

The HSE is sending out a packet of five antigen tests to those who are registered as close contacts and who log that they have no symptoms on the HSE close contact online portal.

The updated guidance released today also advises that people “take regular antigen tests if we are asymptomatic and engaged in activities in riskier environments”.

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