Approximately 10% of all new Covid-19 cases have been linked to international travel.
The Health Service Executive’s national lead for testing and tracing Niamh O’Beirne stated that there has been an increase in the number of cases of people who have a recent travel history, particularly in some of the holiday locations around Europe.
From tomorrow, public health advice is to change regarding non-essential international travel when the EU Digital Covid Certificate is formally rolled out.
In regards to testing, O’Beirne stated that Friday was the busiest day, “Friday was one of the busiest days with over 15,000 tests done across the community testing sites.”
Antigen testing is expected to be used for close contacts of positive cases, however, PCR tests will be used until demand exceeds what the HSE can supply.
When compared to other European countries, Ireland has been quite slow at implementing antigen testing, although it’s currently being used in acute hospitals and meat processing plants.
PCR testing requires an individual to get a test on the first day of being deemed a close contact as well as day 10. If an individual tests negative for Covid-19 on both days, they are no longer required to restrict their movements.
Antigen testing requires a close contact to get tested four times on the first day of being deemed a close contact, as well as days five, seven and 10.
If any of the tests are positive, a person must get a PCR test. O’Beirne stated, “If all four of those are not detected, then they will release the release from restricting their movements”.