Swiss canton Basel-City cuts quarantine period from Monday
The Swiss canton of Basel-City has cut the quarantine period to seven days and simplified contact tracing, the city's health department said in a bulletin outlining the new regulations on Friday.
Rising infection rates driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant mean that many people are in quarantine following contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19, so the city's health department has adjusted the rules to reduce the impact on society, in line with recommendations from the Swiss Ministry of Health.
Under the new regulations announced by the in a bulletin, only those people who live in the same household as an infected person or who have "intimate [close physical] contact with an infected person will need to be reported to the cantonal department of health.
These people will have to quarantine and should do a PCR or rapid-antigen test during the quarantine period or at the end of it, at the latest.
But the time they have to quarantine for has also been cut: it's now seven days from 10 previously.
The new rules will apply from Monday, January 3rd, 2022.
The infected person should still tell other people they have been in contact with that they tested positive, but these non-close contacts do not need to quarantine. According to the bulletin, they are advised to pay attention to hygiene, reduce contact to a minimum and take a test immediately if they get any symptoms.
Even if they don't get any symptoms, they should still do a test four to seven days after their last contact with the infected person.
Simpler contact tracing
Anyone who is fully vaccinated or has been boosted and received their last jab less than four months ago, does not need to quarantine.You also don't need to quarantine if you have had and recovered from Covid-19 in the last four months.
These rules do not apply to those who test positive for the virus, of course. As the city's health department said in the bulletin: "Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 must continue to stay at home for ten days".
"At the moment, technical and logistical clarifications are in progress and these also require us to communicate with the neighbouring cantons," he added.
On Friday, Basel-City's seven-day incidence rate for 100,000 inhabitants stood at 650, compared with 934 for the whole of Switzerland, the canton's Department of Health said.
There are currently 1,454 active cases of Covid-19 in the canton and 75 patients in hospital with the virus, including 18 in intensive care.
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