Quarantine
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Quarantine



What does mandatory quarantine and self-isolation mean?
The term ‘mandatory’ quarantine or isolation means legally enforceable quarantine or isolation in your home, and NOT leaving for the period that one is required to remained confined to one’s house. The difference is that the term isolation is applied for the person with confirmed infection whilst the term quarantine is attributed to those who have been exposed and who are not a confirmed case.During this period of mandatory quarantine or isolation, no visitors should be allowed. 

Self-isolation means that the person who tested positive must remain strictly within the household separated from the rest of the household members where possible.

- Stay away from others.
- As much as possible stay within a specific “sick room” using a separate bathroom and toilet. “Sick room” should always be adequately ventilated. Open any windows as much as possible. Air conditioners at home do not provide ventilation, but only change the temperature. You should eat meals within this same “sick room”. Where possible use a separate toilet. If this is not possible, use the toilet after the other household members and use your own separate toiletries. This should be then well ventilated with fresh air for a minimum of 1 hour, and thereafter carefully cleaned with a neutral detergent, followed by decontamination of surfaces using a disinfectant effective against viruses.
- You should wear a face mask within the home if you cannot be isolated from other members of the household.



Why is staying at home very important?
Staying at home helps to protect your friends, colleagues and the wider community. It will also help to control the spread of the virus. This may be difficult or frustrating, but there are things that you can do to make it easier. These include:
- Asking friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online. Make sure any deliveries are left outside your home for you to collect.
- Keeping in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media.
- Keeping yourself busy by cooking, reading, online learning and watching films.
- Taking online courses or classes to help you to exercise in your home.



Who issues notices of mandatory quarantine?
A notice of mandatory quarantine or mandatory isolation is issued by public health.

COVID-19 Quarantine Chart






What are the isolation requirements of a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus (Positive Case)?




A Positive Case is eligible for a decreased mandatory isolation period of 10 days if the person meets the following criteria: 

• Aged 18 years or over and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with a booster dose provided the date of the booster dose is 14 days or more prior to the release date. 

For adults 18 years and over vaccinated with Spikevax (Moderna), Comirnaty (Pfizer), Vaxzevria (Astrazeneca) or Nuvaxovid (Novovax):
     2 doses + booster + 14 days = 10 days self isolation

   For adults 18 years and over vaccinated with Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine:
     1 dose + booster + 14 days = 10 days self isolation

• Aged 5-17 years and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with full primary schedule of vaccination with 2 doses (provided the date of the second dose is 14 days or more prior to the release date. 

   For people aged 5-17 years with Comirnaty (Pfizer):
     2 doses + 14 days = 10 days self-isolation

Primary vaccination schedule refers to the initial course of vaccination as recommended by the manufacturer e.g. two doses of Spikevax (Moderna), Comirnaty (Pfizer), Vaxzevria (Astrazeneca), Nuvaxovid (Novovax) or one dose of the Jannsen (Johnson& Johnson) vaccine.

The above rules apply only if the positive person had no symptoms for the last 3 days of their isolation. If the positive case still has symptoms, then s/he should remain in self-isolation until 24 hours after symptoms resolve. Those who do not fulfil the conditions above will still be required to observe a 14 day period of self-isolation from when testing positive. 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.

This policy change also applies to those primary contacts who were already in self-isolation before the 3rd January 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.



What is the quarantine period for persons living in the same household with the positive case (Household Contacts)?



Household contacts: – the standard quarantine period is of 14 days from date of swab of positive case 

A household contact is eligible for a shorter mandatory quarantine period of 10 days if the person meets the following criteria: 

1. If the positive case is eligible for 10 days release (criteria for shorted isolation) 

       AND if the household contact is: 
       • Aged 18 years or over and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with a booster dose provided the date         of the booster dose is 14 days or more prior to the release date. 

       • Aged 5-17 years and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with full primary schedule of vaccination               with 2 doses (provided the date of the second dose is 14 days or more prior to the release date. 

       AND 

2. DOES NOT have symptoms or is not positive for COVID-19 

Children under the age of 5, and persons living in the household who do not fulfil the eligibility criteria for a shorter quarantine period are required to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. 




What are the Mandatory Quarantine periods and eligibility for release for primary contacts?




The term ‘primary contact’ refers to any person who is at high risk of viral transmission following close contact with or exposure to a person diagnosed as suffering from COVID-19 infectious disease (i.e. a positive case of COVID-19). 

Primary Contacts are those close contacts who are not household members of the positive case. 

     • If unvaccinated 

All persons who are high-risk contacts of persons with COVID-19 are required to observe a period of mandatory quarantine of 14 days if they are unvaccinated

      • If vaccinated with a booster dose 

This category of contacts must observe a ten day period of mandatory quarantine if they are are in possession of a valid and recognised vaccination certificate with a booster dose, with the date of the booster dose being at least 14 days prior to the release date. 

     • Minors (under 18 years) with 2 doses of vaccine 

Minors 5-17 years of age who have completed their primary schedule and have a valid and recognised vaccine certificate 14 days before the release date, may observe a period of 10 days in quarantine.



How can I benefit from Test to Early Release for primary contacts (not household contacts)? 
Those persons who are primary contacts who are AT LEAST vaccinated with primary doses of the vaccine in the case of adults and minors and have a valid and recognised vaccine certificate will be eligible for early release

Eligibility: 


1. Neither the primary contact, nor any of the residents in the household, have tested positive for COVID-19 during their quarantine period 
2. None of the household have any symptoms of COVID-19 

A ‘swab test’ needs to be performed on the 7th day after the last exposure to the positive person with the day of exposure being considered DAY 0. 

This test can be either a Rapid Antigen Test or a NAAT test (PCR or molecular assay) 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(RAT Standards). If a negative, ‘non-reactive’ result is obtained on DAY 7 the contact may leave quarantine on 7th day at midnight. 
Should a primary contact or any person residing at the same residence of a primary contact undergo a swab test during the quarantine period and result positive, then all household contacts of the positive case (even if fully vaccinated) will be required to restart their mandatory quarantine for another 14 days, starting from the day the latest household member tests positive. 



Do Household Members of the Primary Contacts (Secondary Contacts) need to quarantine?



The household members of primary/high-risk contacts (secondary contacts) are eligible for exemption from quarantine if they are: 

    1. Aged 18 years or over and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with a booster 

     OR
 
    2. Aged 5-17 years and in possession of a valid vaccine certificate with two doses 

    AND 

Are not symptomatic or have not become a primary contact of a confirmed case or have not tested positive themselves. 

Those who do not meet the above criteria need to observe quarantine together with the primary contact until the primary contact is released. 

Important note for Unvaccinated Persons 
All the above policy changes do not apply to unvaccinated persons and persons who are not yet fully vaccinated, whether they are Positive Cases, Primary or Secondary Contacts. For unvaccinated persons, including children under 5 years of age, the applicable self-isolation and quarantine periods remain at 14 days. 



What is a Vaccination certificate? 
A valid vaccination certificate with primary schedule is one that is recognised by the Superintendent of Public Health for a primary schedule (2 doses or 1 dose of a single dose vaccine) with EMA approved vaccines (Comirnaty [Pfizer], Jannsen [Johnson & Johnson], Spikevax [Moderna], Vaxzevria [AstraZeneca]) that are authorized by the national regulatory authority of the administering country, and 14 days have passed since the last dose. 

A valid vaccination certificate with booster is one that is recognised by the Superintendent of Public Health for a booster dose with an EMA approved vaccines for booster that are authorized by the national regulatory authority of the administering country, and 14 days have passed since the booster dose. 

The list of approved vaccine certificates is available on www.traveltomalta.gov.mt​ and is updated from time to time. 

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

The negative test result, results/quarantine notification and vaccine certificate 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.

Keeping spirits up while in quarantine
Being under quarantine can be frightening, particularly for young children. Suggestions include:
-Talk to the other members of the family about the infection. Understanding novel coronavirus will reduce anxiety.
- Reassure young children using age-appropriate language.
- Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible.
- Think about how you have coped with difficult situations in the past and reassure yourself that you will cope with this situation too.

Reducing boredom while in quarantine
Being confined to home for an extended period can cause boredom, stress and conflict. Suggestions include:
- Arrange with your employer to work from home, if possible.
- Ask your child’s school to supply assignments, work sheets and homework by email.
- Don’t rely too heavily on the television and technology. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for, such as board games, craft, drawing and reading.
- Exercise regularly. Options could include dancing, floor exercises, yoga, walking around the garden or using home exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle, if you have it. Exercise is a proven treatment for stress and depression.
- Keep in touch with family members and friends via telephone, email or social media.



What do I do if I am in quarantine and develop symptoms?
If you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Fever.
- Cough.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tiredness.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- Headache.
- Muscle pain.
- Loss of smell.
- Loss of taste or altered taste.
- Diarrhoea.
- Vomiting.

Important:
- Remain at home.
- Get tested; register for a swab test on covidtest.gov.mt or call the helpline on 111 or +35621324086 for persons having a foreign sim card.
 
 
 
QUARANTINE RELATED TO TRAVEL
 

What is quarantine related to travel?
In terms of LN 301 of 2021 Travel Ban (Extension to All Countries) (Amendment No. 4) Order, 2021, which came into force on 14th July 2021, persons may travel to Malta from red countries provided they are in possession of: 

a valid vaccination certificate showing that that person has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if aged 12years of age or over. 
Provided further that a vaccination certificate shall only be valid and accepted if issued in that official form, and with regards to an EMA approved vaccine recognized and approved by the Superintendent of Public Health. 

As from the 17th January 2022, this vaccination certificate will only be valid for 3 months after the primary schedule or for 9 months after the booster dose for people 18 years and above and valid for a year after the primary schedule for people between 5-17 years. 

Maltese residents returning back to Malta after the 17th January will be allowed an additional 2 week grace period, which ends on the 1st February 2022 with respect to the validity of the vaccine certificate. Following this date, Maltese residents who do not possess a valid vaccine certificate will be asked to undergo a period of 14 days quarantine on their arrival. 

Persons who are not in possession of a recognised vaccination certificate travelling from countries classified as red and persons authorised to travel from dark red countries or zones shall be required to submit themselves to a period of quarantine of 14 days in terms of article 2(1) of the Period of Quarantine Order. Quarantine on arrival applies to all persons except those to whom the exemptions in article 2 of LN 301 of 2021 apply (medical conditions with approval of public health authorities and children aged 11 or less). Pregnant persons are exempt from vaccination requirement and are required to present proof of pregnancy and doctor’s certification and must be in possession of a negative RT-PCR result performed no longer that 72 hours before arrival into Malta.

Residents in possession of a valid Maltese ID or Residence Card, whose permanent residence is in Malta, may apply to undergo quarantine at an alternative address if they fulfil criteria outlined below at least ten days prior to their arrival in Malta. This form can be accessed here. Health authorities reserve the right to accept or reject such requests. 


In the case of travellers arriving from red countries/zones:
 - Travellers who are not in possession of a  valid, recognised vaccination certificate may apply to undergo quarantine at an alternative address

In the case of travellers arriving from dark red countries/zones:
 - Travellers authorised to travel to Malta from dark red countries who:
1) have a valid Maltese ID or Residence card 
    AND
2) whose permanent residence is in Malta
    AND
3) who are in possession of a valid recognised vaccine certificate or are under 12 years of age
     can apply to undergo quarantine at a residence provided further that they fulfil the following criteria:

• there are no more than 4 additional persons (apart from the passengers arriving from dark red countries) living at the address where the returning traveller/s will be residing during the quarantine period.

• any persons aged 12 years and over residing at the same quarantine address as travellers returning from dark red countries are to be fully vaccinated and are in passion of a recognised vaccination certificate.

Non-Malta residents of all ages who require to be quarantined, unvaccinated Malta residents aged 12 years and over, travelling from dark red countries and those not authorised to quarantine at an alternative quarantine address need to follow a 14 day period of quarantine in an officially designated quarantine hotel, which is recognised as such by the Superintendent of Public Health.
The applicable cost borne by a person in quarantine at a quarantine hotel is 100 euro per night which includes breakfast brought to the room. Any requirement for PCR carried out by public health authorities shall be subject to a payment of a fee of 120 euro for the administration of the test. 
Any other additional expenses need to be borne by the person in quarantine.
Alternative accommodation at their residence will NOT be approved in these cases. 

It is assumed that unvaccinated children aged 12-15 (both years inclusive) travelling with vaccinated parent/s /guardian/s who are resident in Malta will follow quarantine at their home address. In all cases, anyone remaining in the same household with a returning traveller who is required to quarantine, will be in quarantine for the same period even if they are vaccinated. Persons arriving from dark red countries, need to follow the established medical protocol for COVID-19 testing and are required to quarantine for 14 days in terms of article 2(1) of the Period of Quarantine Order. 

Day of arrival is Day 0 of the quarantine. E.g. arriving on 6th April, quarantine starts on 7th April ends at midnight on 21st April. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €3,000 each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine.

Persons living in the same household as any of the above persons must also spend 14 days in mandatory quarantine. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €3,000, each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine.

Persons who test positive for the virus responsible for Covid19 need to undergo mandatory quarantine.. This is enforceable by law. Failures to observe this obligation will result in fines of €10,000 each time a person is found to be in breach of quarantine.

For further health-related information regarding COVID19 please refer to www.covid19health.gov.mt