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13th Jan 2022

Here are all the changes to the Covid rules in Ireland

A number of updates have been announced.

As expected, Cabinet on Wednesday (12 January) signed off on a number of changes to Covid-19 measures in Ireland.

Coming into effect from midnight tomorrow, the updates will see an easing of isolation requirements for close contacts and confirmed cases, as well as testing requirements.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Isolation rules

Isolation periods for close contacts of confirmed Covid cases who have received a booster vaccine and have no symptoms are to be removed.

Previously people in this category had to restrict their movements for five days.

However, despite no longer needing to isolate, asymptomatic boosted close contacts will be recommended to wear medical or higher grade masks and take regular antigen tests.

This is as close contacts without a booster vaccine must restrict their movements for seven days.

Also, anyone who has Covid-19 will only have to isolate for seven days instead of ten as part of the changes agreed by Cabinet.

Testing rules

In terms of the update to testing rules, there will no longer be a requirement for people aged between four and 39 to confirm an antigen test result with a PCR test.

As part of this, a new portal for people to be able to upload their positive antigen tests, as well as their close contact information, will be made available through the HSE’s website.

“We’ll have that up and running in the next few days,” Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said on Wednesday.

“The HSE is just working through the final logistics and the technical requirements on it.”

The updates come following advice from Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan.

The Health Minister said the Government was aiming to “ease the burden on people” with the changes.

“We’re very very aware of how difficult it is for people themselves, for their employers, for their communities with so many people being asked to restrict their movements if they’re a close contact,” he explained.

Facebook image of Tony Holohan: Sam Boal/