COVID-19 reinfection advice
The Ministry of Health has updated its advice on getting infected again with COVID-19
- reinfections can occur earlier than 90 days.
The latest evidence shows that getting COVID-19 again within a short period of time can happen – but it’s unclear how common it is. Reinfection is also more likely as new variants spread among the community.
You are more likely to become reinfected as your immune response from the vaccine or your previous COVID-19 infection decreases over time.
- If it is 28 days or fewer since the last infection, there’s no need to test.
- Within 28 days, symptoms are most likely due to lasting effects of the initial infection or a different new respiratory infection.
- If a person develops new COVID-19 symptoms, and it’s 29 days or more since their previous infection, it’s possible that it’s a reinfection with COVID-19 and they should take a rapid antigen test. If that test is positive, they will need to be isolated for a second time for seven days.
- If a person is not getting better, or becoming increasingly unwell, they should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their doctor/healthcare provider.
Evidence on reinfections is evolving rapidly. The Ministry of Health is constantly monitoring what’s happening internationally and updating their guidance to ensure it is in line with the latest public health advice.
Updated advice for the public and information for health workers on testing for possible reinfection is on the Ministry of Health website.