Changes in COVID-19 PCR criteria

Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo)

Changes in COVID-19 PCR criteria

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
  • Aged 55 or older and you are fully boosted, even if you have symptoms of COVID 1

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:

Acting Head of Primary Care Mandy Doyle said: “COVID-19 is still present in our lives and communities . People should continue to practise 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.”

Last updated on: 01 / 03 / 2022