Skip to main content

Testing for healthcare workers

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

Suspect Case Testing Criteria

You will be referred for 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.

If you are a close contact of a known case of COVID-19 you will need to restrict your movements for 14 days.

Pathway for testing

You can be referred for testing by your local Occupational Health contact or by your GP. This is determined by the following criteria:
If you are a known healthcare COVID-19 casual/close contact undergoing monitoring

Contact Occupational Health for assessment, they will arrange testing if necessary. See Contact details for local Occupational Health departments

If you have no known workplace contact with COVID-19 case or you are returning to Ireland from international travel

Contact your GP for assessment and they will arrange testing if necessary. Your test and GP assessment will be free of charge. This includes GP out-of-hours services.

Find GP contact details

Find GP out-of-hours contact details

Symptomatic HCW - suspect case testing criteria not met

If you are a HCW with symptoms but you are not sent for testing as you do not meet the criteria you must self-isolate until you are 48 hours symptom-free. You may then return to work with the approval of your line manager.

Test results

COVID -19 positive:

After self-isolating for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, you may return to work if you are fever free for 5 days and medically well.

COVID-19 negative:
  • If you have no history of contact with a COVID-19 case (close or casual), and have not travelled internationally, you can return to work 48 hours after your symptoms resolve.
  • If you’re undergoing monitoring due to close contact with a COVID-19 case OR are a HCW Returning from travel; Complete monitoring process -14 days restricted movement. Following the 14 day period you much be symptom free for 48 hours prior to return to work.
  • If you are identified by management as an essential HCW derogation may be given to allow you to return to work before the 14 day period. See derogation for the return to work of HCWs Guidance.

If your child has symptoms of coronavirus

Related content

Occupational Health guidance for managing COVID-19 exposures

PPE guidance for staff

Restricted movements and self-isolation


Minding your mental health

Page last reviewed: 04/01/2021
Next review due: 04/01/2024