Will the Department of Health continue to trace close contacts of people that test positive for COVID-19?
No. All contact tracing will be stopped with immediate effect, except in congregate settings (where large crowds gathered) and cluster outbreaks or self-contained settings.
What should I do if I had close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19?
You can continue with your normal duties and activities, but closely monitor your symptoms. Take your temperature daily and check if you have any of the symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of taste and smell).
Should I get tested if I had close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19?
No. You should only get tested if you develop symptoms yourself.
Do I still need to quarantine for 10 days if I had close contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19?
No. All quarantine will stop with immediate effect. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. You should however closely check yourself for symptoms.
Do I still need to isolate if I test positive for COVID-19?
This will depend on how sick you are from COVID-19. If you:
- are asymptomatic (you do not have any symptoms) you should:
- not isolate (you can continue working and doing other activities)
- closely check yourself for symptoms for five to seven days
- avoid large gatherings
- always wear a mask
- keep a distance of 1.5m from other people
- have mild disease (you have symptoms, but do not need to go to the hospital) you should:
- isolate for eight days
- wear a mask at all times (even at home)
- have severe disease (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain and need to go to a hospital) you should:
- isolate for ten days after the doctor says you are stable
- wear a mask at all times (even at home) while you isolate
Should I isolate even if I am vaccinated?
Yes. The isolation rules apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Should I get tested for COVID-19 after my isolation and before I return to work?
No. You can return to work after your isolation and there is no need for another test.
Can healthcare workers also return to work after isolation?
Yes, but healthcare workers should wear a N95 mask at all times and avoid contact with extremely high risk patients (especially severely immune compromised patients).
What should I do if I do not feel better after I have isolated for eight or ten days?
Return to your doctor or clinic. They can provide you with a medical report that states that you should isolate for a longer period.
REASON FOR CHANGE
Why did the Department of Health change the rules for contact tracing, quarantine and isolation?
The department decided to change the rules after the they received evidence that:
- most people (60 to 80 per cent) have some immunity because they were sick before or because they are vaccinated
- the world has learned more about the virus – many people do not have any symptoms and only a small number of people are diagnosed
- quarantine is expensive and many people lose their income because they cannot go to work, while children have to stay home from school