The Health Service Executive has said it is working to put the new public health guidance for close contacts into operation.

In a statement, the HSE said this will mean providing antigen tests to all close contacts who are asymptomatic, with separate advice around the testing protocol and the period of restricted movements required for those that have had their booster and those that have yet to get their booster.

It said that once implemented, it is expected that the HSE will be registering and distributing antigen test kits to up to 11,000 people per day, which is an expected increase of 7,000 a day on the number of test kits currently being distributed.

The HSE said it is finalising the distribution process to enable this additional volume and expect to have that in place from tomorrow.

Separately, it said that this change also impacts the HSE's Contact Management Programme, much of which is IT based, including automated text messages, the online portal to enable people register for their tests and the caller scripts.

It said more than 830 people work on delivering contact tracing and all of these processes that support this are being updated currently with a view to ensuring the new guidance is operationalised.

It said that while work is under way to enable the Contact Management Programme put the updated guidance into operation, the current guidance for close contacts remains.

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