Recently travelled from Great Britain or South Africa? Self-isolate and phone a GP to get COVID-19 test


If you arrived into Ireland from Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales) or South Africa since 10 December

  • you should self-isolate (stay in your room) for 14 days from the date you arrived into Ireland
  • the HSE will contact you, using the information you provided on the passenger locator form, so you can get a COVID-19 test

Your household contacts do not need to be tested unless you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

You must complete the full 14 days of self-isolation, even if your test result is negative (COVID-19 not detected).

This is stricter advice than usual. It’s in place because of the spread of a new strains of COVID-19 in Great Britain and South Africa. These strains of COVID-19 are more easily spread than other strains of the virus, so it is a greater risk.

If you have already had a private COVID-19 test, you still need to complete 14 days of self-isolation, regardless of the result.

Do not go for routine, non-urgent healthcare appointments during your 14 days of self-isolation. But do not delay getting medical help in an emergency, if you need it.

Do not visit nursing homes or residential care facilities until you have completed your 14 days of self-isolation.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19
Phone a GP to book a test for COVID-19 and tell them you have recently been in Great Britain or South Africa and have developed symptoms of COVID-19. Do this even if your test result is negative (COVID-19 not detected).

If you don't have a GP you can call any GP or GP out of hours service.

New strain of COVID-19
There has been a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in London and South East England. Many of these cases are linked to a new strain of COVID-19. There has also been a new strain of COVID-19 identified in South Africa which is similar.

All viruses mutate and change. This leads to new strains of the virus. Early analysis of this new strain of COVID-19 suggests that it is significantly more transmissible than other strains.

There is currently no information to suggest that this new strain leads to a more severe COVID-19 infection or that the COVID-19 vaccine will be less effective.