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Testing for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers (HCWs) who develop respiratory symptoms must self-isolate immediately

Suspect case testing criteria

You should arrange testing if you meet one of the following criteria:

A Healthcare Worker (HCW) with acute respiratory infection (sudden onset of at least one of the following: cough, fever, shortness of breath)


A HCW with sudden onset of anosmia (loss of sense of smell), ageusia (loss of sense of taste) or dysgeusia (distortion of sense of taste) with no known medical reason for these symptoms


A HCW with any acute respiratory illness who has also been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days prior to symptom onset.

HCW who is a household close contact

HCW is a confirmed case based on antigen or PCR test.

A HCW who is a household close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 should request antigen tests from the HSE. You will need to do 3 antigen tests over 7 days. Do one test as soon as possible, one test 3 days later and the final test on day 7. You can continue to attend work if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

You must have a negative antigen test on day 8 or at the start of your shift.

You should remain out of work for full 10 days if day 8 antigen test is positive, or if symptoms have not substantially or fully resolved for the final two of the 7 days.

How to do your antigen tests

Pathway for testing

Healthcare workers with symptoms should do a PCR test.

You can book a PCR test online or be referred for testing by your GP.

COVID-19 Assessment, Testing Pathway and Return to Work of Symptomatic Healthcare Workers

Book a PCR test online

Find GP contact details

Find GP out-of-hours contact details

If you have no known workplace contact with a COVID-19 case or you are returning to Ireland from international travel please follow government advice.

Test results

COVID-19 PCR test results

If your child has symptoms of coronavirus

Related content

Occupational Health guidance for managing COVID-19 exposures

PPE guidance for staff



Minding your mental health

Page last reviewed: 10/01/2022
Next review due: 10/01/2025