Expected changes to ‘stay at home’ orders for enhanced close contacts without symptoms

CLOSE people who have been in contact with boosted Covid-19 cases and are not showing any symptoms of the virus will not have to restrict their movement for five days, under a new plan being developed by the Government consider.

The Cabinet is expecting new advice from the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan Today concerns the rules for close contacts.

CMO Dr. Tony Holohan


CMO Dr. Tony HolohanCredit: PA

Under the new guidelines, once close contacts receive their enhanced stab, they won’t have to restrict their movements as long as they wear a mask and perform routine antigen tests. ie.

The advice is expected to be considered by the Cabinet tomorrow

Currently, a close contact who received a booster shot must stay home for five days and have three antigen tests done with two days between tests.

If the tests show positive, the person must isolate in their room and schedule a PCR test.

This advice lasts up to ten days if a person gets a booster less than seven days before they receive a close contact message from HSE.

The public health advice is expected to be based on the latest guidance from the European Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

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This guide allows shorter isolation time in cases where there is too much strain on the health care system and society.

However, the updated guidance from the ECDC comes with a warning that it is not proof.

If the Government changes its rules on close relationships based on this, it will require a follow-up arrangement with employers along with an updated media campaign.

The Irish Trades Union Congress has called for a cautious approach to any change, warning that any change needs to be based on public health rather than business.

Spokesperson Dr Laura Bambrick told Newstalk: “Any relaxation of the close contact rule for closely related workers must be guided first and foremost by health advice community.

“Otherwise, what we will see happening is that we will alleviate short-term staffing problems but we will do nothing to reduce the infection rate.


“Decisions must be evidence-based. They must be guided by public health advice.”

She noted that we haven’t reached peak mid-Omicron cases yet, so we don’t know what the implications will be for the ICU.

She added: “Medical workers and our health system have been under extraordinary pressure over the past two years and that is why we must continue to be cautious at this time.”

It comes as Ireland claims to confirm one in a million Covid cases of the pandemic, with half of those cases reported in the past two months. Expected changes to ‘stay at home’ orders for enhanced close contacts without symptoms

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