Greece’s National Health Care Organization (EODY) issued on Thursday new guidelines for people who are infected with Covid-19 or have been exposed to the virus through a confirmed case. The guidelines refer to time of quarantine and the use of mask for the general population and for health workers.
For healthcare workers: if they have tested positive for the virus they will have to isolate for five days and return to work with or without a negative test if they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. They will also have to use a high respiratory protection mask (N95, KN95 or FFP2).
For healthcare staff who have been exposed to the virus: the triple-vaccinated will be able to continue their work with a mandatory PCR test on the 3rd day after the exposure, while those who have received only two doses (or one J&J dose) will have to submit a PCR test on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th day after the exposure.
For the general population: those who are infected with Covid-19 must isolate for at least five days, after which, of they have no or mild symptoms (except fever) they are allowed to exit their house. If the fever continues, they will have to remain isolated. They will also have to use a high respiratory protection mask (N95, KN95 or FFP2) or a double plain mask for at least five more days.
People who came into contact with a confirmed case and are triple-vaccinated will have to use a high respiratory protection mask (N95, KN95 or FFP2) or a double plain mask for 10 days and take a PCR or rapid antigen test on the 5th day from the exposure.
Those who only got two doses of a jab (or one J&J), are required to stay at home for five days and avoid contact with other people. On the 5th day they have to take a PCR or rapid antigen test. After the 5th day, they will need to use a high respiratory protection mask (N95, KN95 or FFP2) or a double mask for at least another five days.
For people whose work is “inextricably linked to the functioning of the state and vital infrastructure,” the panel of experts advising the government will consider different instructions on the recommendation of the competent ministries.
Clear as mud!
There is a logic to shortening the isolation period once Omicron is the dominant variant. It seems to develop more rapidly but people also recover from it more quickly. There is also a demand driver. Omicron is spreading so fast if they don’t reduce the quarantine people when you go to hospital there will be nobody there to treat you as all staff will be isolating. Many countries have tied the shorter isolation to people recording negative lateral flow tests, which reduces the risk.
Correction to the above. “quarantine people” should read “quarantine period”.