‘I have a cough and sore throat’ – what to do in Ireland’s new Covid rules

Changes to existing Covid measures came into effect at midnight last night.

Cabinet decided to heed the advice put forth by NPHET on Wednesday in relation to close contacts as well as the required isolation period for confirmed cases.

Anyone who has received a booster dose of the available vaccines will now no longer be required to self-isolate as a close contact if they have no symptoms.

Similarly, a number of changes have been made to the general isolation timeline as the government works to help businesses amid major staff shortages.

Although the rules have changed for fully vaccinated and boosted close contacts, rules remain for anyone who develops symptoms of the virus or has a positive test.

So no matter what your vaccination status, if you feel any symptoms developing you need to take an antigen.

I have one or two Covid symptoms, what do I do? Ireland’s current Covid rules

If that antigen is positive and you are under 40, you no longer need a PCR to confirm that result and you should isolate at home for the recommended period of time.

Speaking on Thursday evening, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan said: “It is important to note that the latest public health advice around self-isolation and restriction of movement places an increased emphasis on the use by cases and close contacts of higher-grade face masks, as opposed to cloth masks.

“Other protective measures including the strict limiting of social contacts are also advised for the full 10 days following a confirmed Covid-19 infection or close contact.

“These combined measures are intended to offset any increase in the risk of transmission that may result from the reduction and or removal of the requirement to self-isolate or restrict movements.”

New rules

As of midnight, those that have received their booster against Covid-19 who become close contacts, but aren’t showing any symptoms of the virus, won’t be asked to carry out the five-day isolation period.

They will however still be asked to wear higher grade masks and to take regular antigen tests at home to rule out any development of infection.

Meanwhile, people who are identified as close contacts but have not received a booster vaccine will be asked to restrict their movements for seven days.

The general time for isolation once you have been diagnosed with Covid has also been shortened to seven days amid the latest rule change.

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