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30th Mar 2023

Covid testing centres to close around the country signalling the end of the pandemic

Katy Thornton

covid testing centres close

It is the latest indicator from the government that the pandemic has reached its conclusion.

The HSE have announced the closure of the last remaining Covid 19 test centres, in a move which signifies the latest walking back of pandemic measures by the Irish government.

First introduced over three years ago in March 2020, the Covid 19 test centres were one of the key pillars of the pandemic response implemented by the government to halt the spread of the virus within the community.

covid testing centres close

Given the closure of the remaining test sites, the online self-referral portal on the HSE website, which allowed people to book PCR tests, is also no longer in operation.

The latest public health advice also states that testing for Covid-19 is no longer recommended for the vast majority of the population, in a further rowing back of pandemic-induced measures.

In removing the recommendation to test for the virus, the antigen-ordering facility on has also been closed, but with specific guidance to be issued to health and care workers in the coming days.

covid testing centres close

Another change in guidance has also been announced for healthcare workers, with those who are household close contacts no longer required to do antigen tests.

Speaking on the removal of these numerous pandemic policies, the HSE said that the decision to do so was done with the aid of the best and most up-to-date evidence regarding the management of the virus.

The high levels of inoculation amongst the Irish population was a further reason cited as to why the government believed that now was the correct time to implement its latest scaling back of Pandemic response measures.

Dr John Cuddihy, the HSE National Director for Public Health, said these decisions are thanks to “the high level of vaccine-induced and naturally acquired population immunity in Ireland, as well as the development of new treatments, all of which are mitigating the worst impacts of Covid-19 infection”.

From today onwards, those who experience Covid 19 symptoms should instead stay at home and limit contact for a 48-hour period, following the improvement of their condition.

Although, the HSE has announced that PCR and antigen testing will continue to be used by doctors in hospitals and GP settings.

This article originally appeared on JOE

Header image via Shutterstock


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