Government cuts Covid isolation period to 7 days as rules eased

School children can all now return to their educational facilities full time.
Image: Bloomberg

South Africa has cut the isolation period for those infected with symptomatic Covid-19 to seven days from 10 and dropped the need for asymptomatic cases and contacts of those infected to isolate.

The government also said in a statement on Monday that school children can all now return to their educational facilities full time. Some government schools had been operating learning by rotation to ensure social distancing.

The government said the changes were due to the falling number of cases and the high natural immunity in the South African population with between 60% and 80% of people likely to have been infected with the virus.

Read the full announcement below:

CABINET APPROVES CHANGES TO ADJUSTED ALERT LEVEL 1 Covid-19 REGULATIONS

A special Cabinet meeting held today, 31 January 2022, has approved changes to the Adjusted Alert Level 1 Covid-19 regulations. This follows meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) which received updates on the management of Covid-19 in South Africa.

The information gathered through the system used by the Department of Health has reported that South Africa has exited the fourth wave nationally.

Based on the trajectory of the pandemic and the levels of vaccination in the country, Cabinet has decided to make the following changes to Adjusted Alert Level 1 with immediate effect:

·      Those who test positive with no symptoms do not have to isolate.  
·      If you test positive with symptoms, the isolation period has been reduced from 10 to 7 days.
·      Contacts do not have to isolate unless they develop symptoms.

The rationale for these amendments is informed by the proportion of people with immunity to Covid-19 which has risen substantially, exceeding 60-80% in several sero-surveys.

Cabinet also reviewed the resumption of schooling to full-time learning in all schools. Primary, secondary and special schools will return to daily attendance. The regulatory provision for social distancing of 1meter for learners in schools has also been removed.

The Ministers of Health and Basic Education will in the coming days issue directives reflecting on this new approach.

Government commends all South Africans who continue to observe Covid-19 regulations and protocols. We also remind those who are yet to get vaccinated to go for their Covid-19 vaccination and continue observing basic health protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus.

ISSUED BY THE MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, MR MONDLI GUNGUBELE (MP)

© 2022 Bloomberg

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