Forecourt operator and retailer Circle K is to start selling Covid-19 antigen tests in all stores, excluding Circle K Express, from this weekend.

The company said the antigen test product has been manufactured in Germany and is being supplied through Irish pharmaceutical company, MyBio.

"As society continues to reopen and with strong progress on the vaccine rollout front, we feel there is a demand for access to antigen testing products to help further manage the risk associated with this virus," said Gordon Lawlor, Managing Director, Circle K Ireland.

"We see the use of antigen tests as a complementary additional safety measure alongside the existing public health advice and Government guidance," he added.

Mr Lawlor urged customers to exercise "good judgement" when it comes to the use of antigen tests.

Circle K described the test as being easy to administer and said it provides results within 15 minutes.

It said the EU certified antigen test "has a 97.83% accuracy rate in detecting proteins of the virus".

However, it added that is not intended as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude a Covid-19 case, and is not as reliable as the PCR test.

Last month, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said results of antigen tests carried out by the public cannot be relied upon.

He said the use of these tests by the general public is "strongly recommended against" by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).