When asked ‘Will the government pay for (antigen tests)’ on a Morning Ireland interview yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varakar said ‘schools and colleges we probably will. But that’s hasn’t been worked out yet.’

This interview came after Lidl’s highly desired antigen tests that went on sale last week. The antigen tests went on sale for €24.99 and were limited to five per customer.

A COVID-19 antigen test uses a swab to take a sample from your nose. The sample does not need to go to a lab. The test results are quicker than the COVID-19 PCR test, but it has some limitations. An antigen test is also called a rapid antigen diagnostic test (RADT).

Varadkar advised people who take the antigen that if their test comes back positive they should isolate but if it comes back negative you should still do a PCR test. ‘The government supports the wider use of antigen testing. The way we see (it) is an additional health and safety measure. It’s not a substitute for anything else like masks or social distancing…’  

Although, Varadkar said that the government probably will pay for the tests for schools and college it is unclear yet when they will be provided.