Online portal to register positive antigen results 'open to a bit of play-acting' - Donnelly

A new online portal will allow members of the public to register their positive antigen test results and give details of their close contacts.
Online portal to register positive antigen results 'open to a bit of play-acting' - Donnelly

Muireann Duffy

Updated: 4pm

A new online portal being established to allow members of the public to register their positive Covid-19 results from antigen tests is open to improper use, the Minister of Health has conceded.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet signed off on recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), reducing isolation periods for people who test positive or are close contact.

The changes will coincide with the introduction of the new portal, which will also allow those who register their positive antigen results to give details of their close contacts, and a PCR test will not be required to confirm the positive antigen result.

The HSE is currently working to establish the portal, which Stephen Donnelly said will go live on Friday, according to The Irish Times.

However, he admitted some people may try to take advantage of the new system.

"Is it open to a bit of play-acting? It is," Mr Donnelly said.

Despite this, he said he had "no doubt" people will be honest and use the system appropriately.

The HSE lead on vaccination Damien McCallion has since confirmed the portal will not qualify the person to apply for a Covid recovery certificate, stating evidence of a positive result from a professionally administered test will continue to be required.

From midnight on Thursday, people who are a close contact but have received a booster jab and have no symptoms will no longer be required to isolate for five days.

Those who have not received a booster shot must restrict their movements for seven days.

Despite the potential difficulties with the online portal and the risk of asymptomatic transmission due to the reduced isolation periods, Mr Donnelly described the measures as a "step in the right direction".

He added that although it is "too early to make definitive statements", now felt like an appropriate time to make the changes.

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