Israel cuts Covid isolation to five days

Nitzan Horowitz Photo: Oron Ben Hakun

The medical rationale behind the move is that the viral load of the Omicron variant peaks more quickly than previous variants.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz have decided to shorten the mandatory self-isolation period for vaccinated people testing positive for Covid to five days from seven days. The new instructions will come into effect on Wednesday for those who have gone for three days without any symptoms. A negative home antigen test is also required before ending isolation, the Ministry of Health said.

It was only last week that the Ministry of Health cut the mandatory self-isolation period from 10 days to 7 days. The medical rationale behind the move is that the viral load of the Omicron variant peaks more quickly than previous variants and thus illness and the infectious stage also pass more quickly in patients with light or no symptoms.

Israel's head of Covid response coordination Dr. Salman Zarka said that the Ministry of Health has found that people are at their most contagious during the first three days after infection, with 80%-85% of infections taking place in the first five days.

This diminished risk is weighed against the benefits to society of reducing the damage to the economy by ending isolation for tens of thousands of people who are not sick. Most doctors believe that this is the right move.

Most western countries still require seven days isolation although the US shortened isolation to five days last week and from today England has shortened the isolation period to five days due to the chronic shortage of staffing levels in many sectors. France allows medical staff who test positive to continue working if they have no symptoms.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 17, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Nitzan Horowitz Photo: Oron Ben Hakun
Nitzan Horowitz Photo: Oron Ben Hakun
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018