Omicron behaves differently: the ministry plans to shorten quarantine and isolation

The Czech Republic could soon join the countries shortening the isolation and quarantine periods because of omicron. Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) said this on Wednesday. According to him, preliminary data from the USA shows that the symptoms appear faster, the disease has a faster onset, and the infectiousness disappears sooner.

US scientists are also concerned that omicron will disable many workers in a short time, crippling services. This, too, is partly prevented by shortening the intervals. For now, in the Czech Republic, isolation lasts for 14 days, and quarantine for risky contact lasts for seven. New conditions are to be proposed to the ministry and the government by an expert group led by vaccinologist Roman Chliebek.

Immunologically correct

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those infected with COVID are most infectious between two days before symptoms develop and three days after. They, therefore, recommend that isolation be reduced from ten to five days. If a person is symptom-free, he or she can return to work, but a respirator is required for at least another five days. Similarly, they advise reducing quarantine time after contact with an infected person.

On the other hand, the director of the Regional Hygiene Station for the South Bohemia Region, Kvetoslava Kotrbová, would be more cautious. She said health inspectors prefer to choose the longest possible surveillance period, even for other infectious diseases. Risky contacts may not know whether they have become infected and unknowingly spread the disease.

Two weeks in the Czech Republic

So far, only those who have been fully vaccinated or who have had a COVID in the last six months have been able to avoid quarantine in the Czech Republic. However, only if they have no symptoms. Otherwise, they have to have a PCR test, just like the others.

A PCR test is scheduled for the asymptomatic between the fifth and seventh day of quarantine. If it is negative, the quarantine ends. Otherwise, the infected must go into isolation for another 14 days.

If the individual does not undergo a PCR test after risky contact and has no symptoms, the quarantine lasts two weeks.