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Isolation/Quarantine Rules applicable from 2nd May 2022

Self-isolation rules for COVID positive persons

Isolation requirements and options for ‘early-release’ of a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus (Positive Case)
Persons with COVID-19 - the standard isolation period is 10 days from date of swab.
Date of swab refers to the date the swab was taken and is considered as DAY 0. Start counting days in isolation from the following day.

Test for Early Release
Early release is effective for 7 days isolation from date of swab provided that on the 7th day of isolation the person undergoes an official swab test (carried out by a health professional) that results negative.

Provided that: 
1.The individual must be asymptomatic for the last 3 days of their isolation (from Days 5-7) 
2. A ‘swab test’ needs to be performed on the 7th day after testing positive for COVID19 with the day of the positive test being considered DAY 0. This test must be a Rapid Antigen Test performed at any registered rapid testing centre or licenced Lab on Day 7 in compliance with the Standards on the use of Point-of-Care Rapid Antigen Tests for SARS-CoV. Self tests cannot be used for early release.

If a negative, ‘non-reactive’ result is obtained on DAY 7 the contact may leave isolation as of 00.01hrs on the 8th day. If the RAT test result is positive (‘reactive’) then the individual must remain in isolation till the end of the 10-day isolation period (can leave isolation as of 00.01hrs on Day 11). Positive cases eligible for early release who test positive again on day 7 are required to remain in isolation and may only leave isolation as of 00.01hrs on day 11 as long as they remain without symptoms for the last 3 days of their isolation. 
No further tests are required, and isolation periods will not be extended

This policy change also applies to those positive cases who were already in self-isolation before the 2nd May 2022.  

Public Health will continue to enforce these applicable rules and regulations and if anyone is found to have broken these regulations, applicable fines will be issued as per current legislation.

Persons living in the same household with the Positive Case (Household Contacts)
Household contacts DO NOT need to quarantine. 
They are recommended to wear a mask for 10 full days when around other persons inside the home or when in contact with other persons outside the home. 

Household contacts should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and are advised to test themselves 3 days following the date of the positive test result or start of symptoms (whichever came first) of the positive person with whom they live, in order to determine whether they have been infected. 

They should also isolate themselves and test if at any point they are to become symptomatic. In view of the close contact involved in shared living spaces, household members of positive cases have an increased risk of becoming infected. 

In order to prevent spread to other members of the household, persons infected with COVID19 should sleep in separate rooms where this is possible, use separate bathrooms or ensure they are the last person to use the bathroom, which is cleaned after use. Using a mask within the household (both the person with COVID-19 and also the household members) where physical separation is not possible or when tending to a sick person, keeping one’s distance and washing one’s hands will minimise the risk of spread within the home together with good ventilation, cleaning of surfaces and frequently touched areas.

Other Contacts
No other persons who were in close contact with the positive case need to undergo any period of mandatory quarantine, irrespective of their vaccination status or the proximity of contact. If one is informed that they have been in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, it would be a good practice to self-monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 and isolate and test if one had to become symtomatic. 

Even if one remains well (asymptomatic), a test carried out at least 3 days after the last exposure should indicate whether one has contracted COVID-19 infection from the exposure or not. One is advised to be particularly vigilant with mitigation measures during this period such as masking indoors, keeping an adequate physical distance from others and avoiding close contact with medically vulnerable persons for 10 days from the last known exposure.

Important note on documentation regarding release from self-isolation/quarantine
The notification for self-isolation for positive cases will be issued through the notification of their swab result.  No other letter or release letters will continue to be sent for the release of the positive case. 

The negative test result, results/quarantine notification should be made available to employers’ human resources representatives or administrative officers who may request this of the person in self-isolation/quarantine in order to verify compliance with these Standards.

​Quarantine for patients/ residents in hospital or a residential home
​​Patients/ residents in hospital or a residential setting will be required to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive case for the duration that they are patients/residents in the hospital or residential setting, in accordance with public health policies. Patients/residents identified as close contacts of a positive case are required to observe a five-day quarantine period and can be released from quarantine if they test negative on the 5th day after the last exposure to the positive person with the day of exposure being considered DAY 0. Such contacts should be tested immediately if at any point they are to become symptomatic.