Close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases will no longer be send for a Covid-19 test due to pressures on the service.
Anyone who is notified that they are a close contact will be asked to restrict their movements for 14 days and contact their GP if they develop symptoms.
NPHET say the system change is to ensure that people who are symptomatic of Covid-19 are prioritised for tests.
Speaking yesterday evening, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said every person should behave as if they are a close contact due to the widespread presence of the disease in our communities.
Dr Holohan said: “To support the testing system through this surge, we are no longer advising close contacts of confirmed cases to get tested. Testing and tracing is an exercise in containment and we are no longer in a containment phase. However, it is imperative that if you are a close contact of a confirmed case you restrict your movements and contact your GP immediately if you develop symptoms.”
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said: “The pressure on our public health system, including testing and tracing services is not sustainable. A collective response by every individual, across every county, to follow the public health advice is essential to address the recent acceleration in case numbers that we are now seeing. The reintroduction of Level 5 restrictions is essential to protect our vital public services such as hospital admissions and non-COVID care and to have the maximum impact in shortest possible timeframe to minimise the spread of this disease.”