New guidelines have been set to allow only patients that are displaying two major symptoms of coronavirus to be tested.
The new measures come amidst a backlog of over 40,000 people waiting to be tested.
Nearly 18,000 tests have been carried out in Ireland so far, with 94% of the results coming back negative.
As the numbers of suspected cases grow, the Department of Health announced new criteria for patients to access tests.
Patients will have to display two major symptoms – a fever and either a cough or shortness of breath – and fall into a priority group in order to be tested.
Priority groups include vulnerable people, people in hospital or healthcare workers and people who are close contacts of a confirmed case with symptoms.
Any other person who develops symptoms is being told to assume they have the virus and self-isolate for 14 days. Other people in the household must also restrict their movements.
More information is available on www2.hse.ie