The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has reduced the mandatory period of isolation and sick leave for confirmed COVID-19 cases from 10 days to seven days.

In a statement released this Monday, 24 January, the MoPH said that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 on a test done at medical facilities and whose Ehteraz changes to red status will automatically be eligible for seven days sick leave. These individuals will be required to have a rapid antigen test at a medical facility authorised by MoPH on day 7. If the result of the test is negative, the individual’s Ehteraz status will change to green and they will be able to leave isolation and return to work on day 8.

If the day 7 rapid antigen test is positive, the individual must undergo a further three-day isolation and will be given additional three days of sick leave. They will be free to leave isolation on day 11 with no requirement for a further test.

The decision to reduce the isolation period was made following a review of the latest local and international clinical evidence showing that most people will be negative by day 7 and pose a low or no risk of transferring the virus to others.

MoPH, however, stressed the need for people to follow the standard precautionary measures when ending their isolation period. This includes wearing face masks, maintaining social distance and practising good hand hygiene.

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