Search icon


19th Dec 2023

What are the current rules if you get Covid over the Christmas period?

Katy Thornton

This feels very 2020.

It’s hard to believe this will be our fourth Christmas where Covid is a possible reality for many of us, but there we are. It’s not quite the threat it was back in 2020, but there are still some rules and restrictions in place to ensure you don’t pass it along to the vulnerable.

While isolation is still recommended so you don’t pass Covid on to someone else, if you tested positive today (December 19) you could still make Christmas.

According to the latest advice from the HSE, if you have tested positive for Covid-19, you can still pass on the virus to other people, so you need to:

  • stay at home for 5 days
  • avoid contact with other people, especially people at higher risk from Covid

If your child (under 18) tests positive for Covid, they should:

  • stay at home for 3 full days from the day their symptoms started
  • avoid contact with other people

If your child does not have symptoms, they should stay at home for 3 days from the day they tested positive.

As for adults, you should stay at home from the date you first had symptoms and you can leave home after 5 days if:

  • your symptoms have fully or mostly gone for the last 48 hours

It’s okay to leave home after 5 days if you still have a mild cough or changes to your sense of smell as these can last for weeks after the infection has gone.

It’s important to note that anyone who has Covid should continue to avoid meeting people who are at very high risk for 10 days – this starts from the day you first had symptoms.

The most common symptoms of Covid continue to be:

  • fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above) – including having chills
  • dry cough
  • fatigue (tiredness)

Less common symptoms include:

  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this could mean they’re completely gone or just different to normal
  • nasal congestion (runny or blocked nose)
  • conjunctivitis (also known as red eye or pink eye)
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • muscle or joint pain (aches and pains)
  • different types of skin rash
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • chills or dizziness

Symptoms of severe cases include:

  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • loss of appetite
  • confusion
  • pain or pressure in the chest
  • fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above)

This article originally appeared on HER 

Header image via Getty


16 silly Irish pop culture predictions for 2024

8 last minute gifts for when you don’t want to go traipsing around the shops

Fans pay tribute to Kirsty MacColl on 23rd anniversary of her death