Covid quarantine, how does it work now? And how could it change? The government has already handled, with a decree law, the rules governing the precautionary quarantine. Now it is assumed to make it shorter for those who have also made the third dose of the vaccine. The new precautionary quarantine measures, published in the Official Journal on 30 December, have already entered into force. But now, faced with the evolution of the virus with the Omicron variant, many are asking for a further change.
Stop a precautionary quarantine: for whom?
The new quarantine rules for people who have had close contact with a positive Covid will apply starting from 31 December 2021, the date of entry into force of the decree-law 30 December 2021, n. 229 reads on the website of the Ministry of Health. The decree provides that, in the event of close contact with a subject confirmed positive for Covid, the preventive quarantine does not apply:
– to people who have completed the “primary” vaccination course (without booster) for 120 days or less;
– to people who have been cured of Covid for 120 days or less;
– to people who have received the booster dose of the vaccine (so-called “third dose” or “booster”).
Self-monitoring is applied to all these categories of people, with the obligation to wear FFP2 masks until the tenth day following the last exposure to the Covid positive subject (therefore the eleventh day from the last contact). A rapid or molecular antigen test is scheduled to detect the Sars-Cov-2 antigen at the first appearance of symptoms and, if still symptomatic, on the fifth day following the date of the last close contact. In the event that the test is carried out at authorized private centers, it is necessary to transmit the negative report to the ASL, also electronically, to determine the termination of the self-surveillance period.
For close contacts who have completed the primary vaccination cycle for more than 120 days and who still have a valid reinforced Green pass, if asymptomatic, a quarantine with a duration of 5 days is applied with the obligation of a negative molecular or antigen test on the fifth day. .
Who does the 10-day quarantine continue to apply to?
For subjects not vaccinated or who have not completed the primary vaccination course or who have completed the primary vaccination course for less than 14 days, the 10-day quarantine from the last exposure continues, with the obligation of a negative molecular or antigen test. on the tenth day.
Who does the 7-day quarantine apply to?
For infected subjects who have previously received the booster dose or who have completed the vaccination course for less than 120 days, isolation is reduced to 7 days as long as they have always been asymptomatic or have been asymptomatic for at least 3 days and on the condition that, at the end of this period, a molecular or antigen test is performed with a negative result.
In all cases described, a negative result of a rapid or molecular antigen test is required for the termination of quarantine. In the event that the test is carried out at authorized private centers, it is necessary to send the negative report to the ASL, also electronically.
What is meant by ‘close contact’?
The “close contact” (high risk exposure) of a probable or confirmed case is defined as:
a person living in the same home as a COVID-19 case
a person who has had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (e.g. handshake)
a person who has had unprotected direct contact with secretions from a COVID19 case (e.g. touching used paper handkerchiefs with bare hands)
a person who has had direct (face-to-face) contact with a COVID-19 case, at a distance of less than 2 meters and at least 15 minutes
a person who has been in an enclosed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room) with a COVID-19 case in the absence of suitable PPE
a healthcare worker or other person providing direct assistance to a COVID-19 case or laboratory personnel handling samples of a COVID-19 case without the use of recommended PPE or through the use of unsuitable PPE
a person who traveled seated by train, plane or any other means of transportation within two seats in any direction relative to a COVID-19 case; the travel companions and the staff assigned to the section of the plane / train where the index case was sitting are also close contacts.
Healthcare professionals, based on individual risk assessments, may believe that some people, regardless of the duration and setting in which contact occurred, have had high-risk exposure.