What are Rapid Antigen Tests?

The introduction of validated rapid testing in Ireland is being recommended to enhance COVID-19 prevention and control. (ref: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/rapid-antigen-


  • ‘Rapid tests’, which specifically relates to speed of processing are defined under the European Commission In-Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Directive as ‘qualitative or semi-quantitative devices’ which are designed to give a fast result.

  • Mass testing programmes have also been implemented to rapidly identify and isolate cases in critical industries in many countries in EU.

  • Use of rapid antigen tests have been supported in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

  • In most cases, positive rapid antigen test results must be confirmed by RT-PCR.

Why do a test?

Testing may be performed for the purposes of diagnosis, screening or surveillance of SARS-CoV-2


  • Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 is intended to identify occurrence of infection at the individual level.

  • Serial testing is carried out in certain settings where, despite implementation of infection prevention and control measures, infection is more likely to occur due to the essential working arrangements (for example, food processing factories, healthcare workers) who are in close contact with co-workers.

  • Regular or repeat testing of individuals in these settings is intended to support early identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to prevent or manage outbreaks / prevent disease transmission.

Antigen-detection diagnostic tests are designed to directly detect SARS-CoV-2 proteins (antigens), mostly nucleoprotein (NP) which is the most abundant protein in SARS-CoV-2.

  • The manufacturer of the test kits used by Westland Health have confirmed that the antigen tests are capable of detecting the new SAR-CoV-2 variant detected in the UK in Dec 2020

  • The recent B.1.1.7 strain which has been detected in the UK has a mutation on RBD region of Spike protein, which does not affect the result of our test reagents

  • The performance of the product is not affected by this variation and will be able to detect this new strain

  • The ease of use and rapid turnaround time of antigen detection tests offer the potential to expand access to testing and accelerate the identification of those individuals with a high SARS-CoV-2 viral load, and facilitate timely cross-infection protocols (including isolation, and contact tracing). (Ref: https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2020-10/Rapid-HTA-of-alternative-diagnostic-tests.pdf)

  • The risk of false-negative results will be greater for those presenting later in the course of infection, therefore, it has been suggested that repeat testing or preferably confirmatory testing using molecular methods should be performed on negative rapid antigen detection test results, particularly in symptomatic patients.

How to Read Results?


Is Certified to administer an Antigen Test?
We are ISO 13485:2016 Certification of Quality Management System

How long does the test take?
The test itself takes approx. 30 seconds. You will receive results in a further 15 minutes.

How Accurate are the results?
The test results are 98% accurate.

Why should I get a Covid-19 Antigen Test?
If you want to find out if you are currently infected with COVID-19, get an antigen test.


You could have COVID-19 and not even know it.  It's quick and easy.
It is especially important to get tested if:


  • You are experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, muscle pain, shivering, headache, or new loss of taste or smell)

  • You have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

  • You were recently in a large crowd where social distancing was hard to maintain

  • You recently travelled to or from an area with high COVID-19 infection rates

What do I do if I test negative?
It’s possible if you have come in contact with the virus shortly before your test that the infection may not yet be detectable and there is a chance that you might pick up a COVID-19 infection just after your test result. For this reason, you will still need to follow all public health guidelines in relation to COVID-19 control.

What do I do if I test positive?
You will be contacted by our team of healthcare professionals and asked to undertake a PCR test, return home and self-isolate until the results of the laboratory PCR test are known.



"We are extremely happy to have Westland Health onsite for the past 5 months. They continue to  provide an efficient and reliable service which has helped greatly in keeping our sites in both Dublin and Shannon open with little to no disruption to the productivity of either site.”

Lymar Contracts Ltd  —  Matthew Keane – Onsite Health and Safety Officer


Please call us on +353 65 6703014, where our dedicated team can help provide any further information about our In-House training Service.