Contact Tracing Guidance

Testing and management of close contacts (15/01/2021)

With very high numbers of COVID-19 cases occurring in recent times, the testing and management of close contacts of cases has changed as follows:

  • The Contact Management Programme will continue to call all cases and obtain information on their contacts. Close contacts will then receive an SMS text message informing them that they are contacts, and the message will provide Public Health advice telling them to restrict their movements for 14 days from last contact with the person with COVID-19. If a close contact has ongoing exposure e.g. if a case is in a child under 13 years of age or in an adult with care needs, then the family must stay at home for 17 days from the date of symptom onset in the case.
  • Close contacts of COVID-19 cases will not be routinely referred for testing, unless they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • If symptoms develop, they should self-isolate and phone their GP to arrange for a test

For the following categories of persons, different arrangements apply:

  1. Anyone who develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (whether a contact of a case or not), will be referred for testing.
  2. For close contacts in the school setting and other complex settings, testing of contacts will continue, as guided by Public Health Risk Assessments.
  3. Close contacts who are Healthcare workers will be referred for testing at day 5, either by their GP or by their local occupational health department.
  4. Close contacts of cases from Great Britain, South Africa and Brazil will be tested at day 5. Please see here for further information.

For further up to date information for cases and contacts, see

Last updated: 15/01/2021

Information Leaflets

Further Contact Tracing Resources

Contact Tracing Video Resources

HSE COVID-19 Tracker App (11/11/2020)