Restricted movement and self-isolation for COVID-19
If you have tested positive for COVID-19, or you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you should limit your contact with other people.
In certain circumstances, you may need to restrict your movements to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. In other circumstances, you may need to self-isolate.
If you have recently travelled to Ireland, you may have to quarantine (see 'Quarantine' below).
Restricting your movements means staying at home to avoid contact with other people. You are advised to do this if you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 or if you live with someone who has symptoms. Read more below about how and when you should restrict your movements.
There is different advice for close contacts who are fully vaccinated.
Self-isolation (staying in your room) means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people. This includes the people you live with. You should self-isolate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a positive test result. Read more below about how and when you should self-isolate.
If you are at high risk from COVID-19, you can get guidance from the HSE.
You do not need to restrict your movements or get tested for COVID-19 if you have no symptoms and you are either:
If you are not fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19
You should restrict your movements for 14 days if you:
- Are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
- Live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, but you feel well
If you are a close contact of a person who tests positive, you should restrict your movements for 14 days from when you were in contact with the person. You can stop restricting your movements when both apply:
- You get a negative (or not detected) test result at least 10 days after your last contact
- You do not have any symptoms
If you are restricting your movements because you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, if they get a negative test result you no longer need to restrict your movements.
If you are caring for someone who cannot self-isolate, you and the rest of the household should restrict your movements for 17 days from when they first developed symptoms. The HSE website has more information about caring for someone who cannot self-isolate.
How to restrict your movements
You should avoid contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. You should also avoid:
- Going to work, unless you work alone and can completely avoid other people
- Going to school or college
- Using public transport
- Having visitors at your home
- Visiting others, even if you usually provide care for them
- Going to the shops or pharmacy, unless it's absolutely necessary
- Meeting with older people, pregnant women or anyone with a long-term medical condition
- Going to gatherings such as weddings or funerals
You can go outside to exercise alone, keeping a distance of 2 metres from other people.
Visit hse.ie for further information on restricting your movements.
You will need to self-isolate if:
- You have COVID-19 symptoms or
- You have a positive test result
If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive and travelled from a designated country, you should self-isolate.
In most cases, you can stop self-isolation if you have had no fever for 5 days and it has been 10 days since you first developed symptoms.
If you have no symptoms but have tested positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test, even if you are fully vaccinated.
If you had symptoms of COVID-19 and you get a negative test result, you should self-isolate until you have not had any symptoms for 48 hours.
If you are in long-term residential care or you recently left hospital after treatment for COVID-19, you should wait for 14 days since you first had symptoms and for 5 days without fever.
How to self-isolate
You should completely avoid contact with other people. You should also avoid:
- Going outside unless you have your own outdoor space
- Going to work, school, religious services or public areas
- Sharing items
- Using public transport or taxis
- Inviting visitors to your home
Visit hse.ie for further information about how to self-isolate, including what to do if you are living with other people and what to do if you are living alone. You can also read about how to care for someone who is self-isolating.
You can read more about the supports available when you are restricting your movements or self-isolating and how to get tested for COVID-19.
During home quarantine, you can only leave your home for limited reasons including:
- For a health or welfare emergency
- To get a COVID-19 test after your arrival
- To leave Ireland
You can finish your home quarantine if you get a negative or not detected PCR test result at least 5 days after you arrive in Ireland. You can book a free RT-PCR COVID-19 test through the HSE test booking website. You can book this test up to 2 days before you arrive in Ireland.
Further information on quarantine is available on gov.ie.