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Who can take part

Participation in the programme is voluntary and is a personal choice. Volunteers must meet eligibility criteria (see the next tab for details) and be able to commit to a four-week testing period.

What to expect

Participants will take two self-administered tests each week over a four-week period and upload their results to a HSE app after each test. It is expected the programme will begin on Monday, 18 October 2021.

Participants in the pilot project will be asked to:

  • Read the instructions and information provided with the antigen test kits and watch a video that explains how to carry out the test at home.

  • Do the tests at home on two days a week in the morning before coming in to work or college. All required testing kits will be provided to the participants. The lead person at your workplace or college will tell you which days you should do the tests.
  • Report all your antigen test results on the HSE Report your Antigen webpage.

Apply to take part

Apply through the WIT Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Testing Programme sign-up form on this page before Monday, 11 October 2021.


  • Participants in the pilot project will be asked to:

    • Read the instructions and information provided with the antigen test kits and watch a video that explains how to carry out the test at home.

    • Do the tests at home on 2 days a week in the morning before coming in to work or college. The lead person at your workplace or college will tell you which days you should do the tests.

    • Report all your antigen test results on the HSE Report your Antigen webpage.

    To do the test, you will take a swab from both nostrils. Use the test kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions to process your results. The test is painless but it may be a little uncomfortable to do. The test takes five minutes to complete, and you can read the results after 15 minutes.

    More information on the test kit is available on the Clinitest website. This webpage has:

    • written instructions

    • a video about how to use the test (2.48 minutes)

    • a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section that gives lots of useful information.

    If you decide to take part in the pilot project, you will be given test kits to bring home with you and use for four weeks. When you take the test kits home, you will need to:

    • follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how to use the tests

    • store the test kits safely

    • get rid of the test kits appropriately when you are finished.

  • You can take part in this project if you are:

    • a student in third level education

    • staff at a third level education site

    • staff at an early years education site

  • No. You do not have to take part in this project. 

    • You are not required to participate in this pilot project. It is completely voluntary.

    • If you decide to take part and then later change your mind, you can leave at any stage.

    • There will be no negative consequences for you at work or college if you decide not to take part.

    • If you choose not to take part, it will not affect your healthcare by the HSE in any way, now or in the future.

  • No. It is important that you do not take part if you:

    • have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 9 months

    • have symptoms of COVID-19 – you should self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test

    • are self-isolating because you have been identified as a close contact of a person who has been confirmed as having COVID-19

  • If your antigen test result is Detected (Positive), you need to self-isolate and have a PCR test to confirm if you do have COVID-19, and you will not be able to go to work or college while you wait for the results of that test. To report your positive result and arrange a PCR test, go to the HSE Report your Antigen webpage.

    If you have any difficulty booking a PCR test on the website, you can also arrange a test by:

    • Attending a walk-in test centre or

    • Contacting your GP

    If your PCR test is positive, the Department of Public Health may need to tell your employer or college for the safety and well-being of others.

  • Taking regular antigen tests may help identify cases of COVID-19 earlier and prevent the spread of infection

    The results of the project will help us understand how easy or difficult it is to do regular antigen tests and if it is practical to continue an antigen testing programme

  • Antigen tests are not fully accurate.

    • You could get a Detected (Positive) result and then find out after your PCR test that you don’t have COVID-19. This could cause unnecessary disruption and worry for you or your family.

    • You could get a Not-detected (Negative) result but still have COVID-19, which could give you a false sense of security – that is why it is really important that everyone continues to follow the public health advice.

    • The antigen test requires you to take a swab from your nose twice a week. You may find this uncomfortable and tiresome to keep doing. However, if you would like to stop taking part in the project, you can stop at any time. You don’t have to continue for the full four weeks.

  • An antigen test is a test can be used to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • The COVID-19 test used in Ireland generally is a PCR test. This is the most reliable test available because it looks at the genetic material of the virus. It is done in a lab and is a very reliable way of knowing if you are currently infected with COVID-19. A swab is taken from the inside of a person’s nose and throat and sent to a lab. But it takes 1 or 2 days to get the result.

    Antigen tests do not have to be done in a lab. They can be done at home or at work. They provide results within 15 minutes, so they can help identify COVID-19 infections quickly.

    Antigen tests can detect COVID-19 whether or not you have symptoms, but they are less sensitive if you have no symptoms. This is why it is important to test 2-3 times per week. If they are used this way, it makes them more effective in picking up COVID-19 cases earlier.

Take three minutes to watch this helpful video on how to take the test and interpret the results. You can also find more information on the test kit on the Clinitest website.

WIT contact

If you have a question or concerns about taking part, please email [email protected]

HSE reporting

Report all your antigen test results on the HSE report your Antigen webpage or use the QR code.