Ministers set to approve changes to Covid testing

Ministers are to approve a number of changes to the Covid testing regime and rules around close contacts this morning.

The Chief Medical Officer has recommended getting rid of the five day isolation period for close contacts of a confirmed case who have had a booster.

People who test positive on an antigen test now won’t need a further PCR test to confirm it in a bid to free up space in the system.

Anyone who tests positive will have to isolate for seven days regardless of whether they’ve had a booster, while close contacts who’ve yet to be boosted will also face seven days of isolation.

Liam Fanning, Professor of Immunovirology at UCC, says all close contacts should remain vigilant despite the potential rule changes.

“This is a relatively safe move, if people are relatively cognisant of the fact that still need to be aware that they could be potentially brewing an infection.

“We can easily add on additional antigen tests that we can do ourselves daily to ensure that we are not infectious and passing it on to our colleagues and friends.

“While the Minister’s news is welcome, it does come with a caveat that you could still potentially be infectious.”

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