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Ireland
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Antigen tests will be free for schools, but not the wider population

The Government will make antigen tests free for those in schools and close contacts, but will not make them free for the general population.

It was confirmed yesterday that people who are household contacts of a Covid-19 case will have to restrict their movements for five days.

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The HSE will send out a pack of five antigen tests to asymptomatic close contacts, three of which are to be taken at specific intervals over a five-day period.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said antigen tests will be used for targeted close contacts, and will be used in school settings shortly.

He further said that the rapid tests will be subsidised for the public.

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Donnelly said: “The advice I have is they shouldn’t be free. They have them free in the UK and the government was came under huge criticism from parliament for that, because essentially there were no controls on how they were being used at all.”

“They’re very, very expensive, so everytime you subsidise an antigen test, it’s money you’re not spending on a nurse, you’re not spending on a doctor,” he said.

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