Antigen Testing in Schools

22nd November 2021

Dear Parent(s),

Minster for Education Norma Foley TD and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD have confirmed arrangements for a new system of antigen testing of asymptomatic close contacts in primary schools. It is envisaged that this system will be in place ‘on or before 29th November’.

How the programme will work:

  • When a parent receives a ‘detected’/positive PCR COVID-19 test result on their child, they should notify the school principal immediately (
  • The school principal will inform the parents of the children in the case’s pod that they are close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case. The name of the case or any other details will not be shared.
  • The antigen tests will be posted to the parents of the children in the pod by the HSE.
  • Parents carry out the antigen test on the day that they receive it and every second day until three tests have been done.
  • The children in the pod can continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic and their antigen test results show a negative result.

If a child’s antigen test indicates a positive result:

  • If an antigen test is positive, the child isolates at home and the child’s parent/guardian logs onto the HSE to request a PCR test.

If a child develops symptoms of COVID-19:

  • If at any stage a child becomes symptomatic they should isolate at home and organise a COVID-19 PCR test if indicated. A ‘not–detected’ antigen test holds no value in the situation of a symptomatic child.

If two or more cases arise in a class, outside a single pod:

  • In a case where two or more cases arise in a class, within a seven-day period, outside of a single pod, antigen testing will be offered to the full class.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and support,

Kevin Clohessy