NEW PLANS are being drawn up to significantly scale back Covid-19 testing systems in Ireland.
It's understood that vaccinated adults, as well as children under the age of 13, will not be required to get tested if they have mild symptoms of Covid-19 under the new proposals.
The plan, which has been sent to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for approval, also proposes to dismantle the notion of 'mass testing'.
The paper argues that the current testing regime is "medicalising daily life in ways that may have significant social consequences" including keeping children home from school.
The document was drawn-up by Professor Martin Cormican, the HSE’s national lead for infection control, on July 22, according to the Irish Independent.
However, it has not yet been adopted by NPHET and there is no timeline for its implementation.
Prof Cormican proposes that as part of overall planning for the future there should be a "stepwise transition" from testing to confirm all possible cases to testing when this is necessary for clinical diagnostic purposes.
"The success of the vaccination programme requires a fundamental revaluation of the approach to testing and how it links to the evolving public health response," the paper states.
Step 1 of the plan involves no longer testing under 13s with mild symptoms.
Step 2 will see an end to testing of close contacts who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last nine months - though exceptions could be made for anyone who has travelled abroad in the previous 14 days.
Step 3 involves advising people against being tested if they have "significant vaccine protection" and mild symptoms who are expecting to be self-limiting with exceptions for those.
Step 4 involves advising against testing people who are asymptomatic, including those who are not vaccinated.