Vaccinated close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases will be sent rapid antigen tests from today.
Tests are being sent out from today, with the first tests expected to arrive by post tomorrow.
Contact tracers will arrange for a box of five tests to be posted to close contacts who are vaccinated and don't have symptoms of the virus.
The person will be asked to take three 'self-tests' - the first upon receiving the test kid, the second two days later and the third two days after that.
Anyone who tests positive will be required to self-isolate and book a PCR test.
Anyone who has symptoms, however, will be asked to get a PCR test rather than being sent the rapid tests.
The wider use of rapid tests was announced last week, marking a significant change in policy.
Senior health officials had previously been reluctant to approve the wide use of rapid tests, amid concerns that the tests were less sensitive than the 'gold standard' PCR tests.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the wide rollout of the rapid tests has happened “slower than I would have liked”.
However, he said today's change in approach is a "big step forward".
He said the rapid tests are “very accurate” in detecting people that are infectious.
He stressed that a negative test is not a “green light” that someone doesn’t have the virus.