ROI COVID-19 Guidance - testing (06)

Phone your GP to be assessed for a COVID-19 test if you are in one of these situations:

  1. You suddenly experience one of these symptoms and there is no other obvious cause:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
  2. You have been in close contact with someone you think or know has COVID-19 in the last 14 days and suddenly experience on of these symptoms:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

Please self-isolate if you have any of the above symptoms.

GP assessment
  • Your GP assessment and the test will be free of charge. Any GP can assess you for a test
  • Phone your GP, DO NOT go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone
  • DO NOT ring your GP out-of-hours service – they cannot arrange testing
  • HSELive cannot order COVID-19 tests – it is an information line only
If your GP decides that you need to be tested:
  • They will arrange a test for you
  • You will need to self-isolate while you wait for your test. The people in your household will also need to self-isolate
  • Make sure your GP has the correct mobile number for you – your test details will be sent to you by text message.
  • You will get a text message with the time and location of your test a few days after your GP arranges your test. The text will include a reference number – you will need to bring this to your appointment.
Before you are tested:
  • While you wait for your test, you should behave as if you have the virus by self-isolating for 14 days. People in your household will also need to self-isolate
  • Treat your symptoms at home, drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help with symptoms such as pain and fever
  • If your symptoms get worse, phone your GP
Bring your phone:
  • Ensure you bring your phone with you to the test centre or drive-through test centre, you will need to show the reference number you received in the text message
  • If the Garda stop you on your way to a test centre, show them the text message with your appointment information, DO NOT open your window, hold your phone up to the window to show the Garda your appointment details

Testing

Here is the latest information on testing.

Non-drive-through testing centres

Please follow the instructions below:

  • Park and remain in your car
  • A healthcare worker will approach you
  • You will be given a mask to put on, they will explain what will happen, ask you some questions and you’ll be taken into the test centre
  • You will be asked to wash your hands properly
  • Healthcare staff will take some personal details from you including your phone number, this is so they can contact you with your results
  • You will be asked to blow your nose into a tissue and dispose of in a secure bin
  • A healthcare worker will take a sample from the back of your throat and nose using a swab – this may be uncomfortable but it will not be painful
  • Your sample will be sent to a lab for testing
  • You will then need to drive home and remain in self-isolation
Drive-through test centres

Please follow the instructions below:

  • Drive to the test centre
  • Stay in your car at all times
  • Follow the signs and the directions of staff
  • A healthcare worker will ask you to open your window
  • You will be given a mask to put on your face, covering both your nose and mouth
  • They will direct you to a test bay to take your test sample – do not get out of your car
  • One healthcare worker will take your personal details – this is so you can be contacted with the results
  • Another healthcare worker will take two swabs from the back of your throat and nose – this may be uncomfortable, but it won’t be painful
  • You will then need to drive home and remain in self-isolation
Testing at home

If you are unable to attend a test centre, you may be tested at home:

  • A healthcare worker will call to your home with a testing kit
  • They will use a swab to take a sample from the back of your throat and nose – this may be uncomfortable, but it won’t be painful
  • You will be asked to give them some personal details – this is so they can contact you with the results
  • Remain in self-isolation

For more information on receiving your test results and what it means, please click here.

Contact tracing

If you test positive for coronavirus we will ask you about other people you’ve been in close contact with. We will also do this if it is likely that you have coronavirus but have not yet had a test. This is ‘contact tracing’. The people who do this work are ‘contact tracers’. Read more here.

Stay up to date with the latest HSE advice here.