Omicron Covid Contacts No Longer Need To Self-Isolate

Direct contacts of someone who has tested positive for the Omicron covid variant no longer need to self-isolate.

Ministers in Jersey have changed the rules following advice from the island's medical advisory group, STAC.

Until now, anyone who has been in contact with the new strain has had to isolate for 10 days to prevent it from spreading.

A government spokesperson says the ten-day isolation period was a 'short-term measure to slow the spread of the variant', but Public Health officials say it is no longer required.

All direct contacts will now be treated the same way, having to take a PCR test then daily lateral flow tests for 10 days. It brings Jersey's rules in line with those used in the UK.

There are currently 15 cases of the new variant detected in Jersey. Not all positive PCR tests are sent to the UK to be checked which strain of the virus it is though.

Dr Ivan Muscat, Jersey's Deputy Medical Officer of Health, says getting vaccinated and a booster jab when you are eligible is the best protection:

"The current evidence is that the booster is 70 to 75% effective against infection from Omicron, and it is also very effective against Delta.

If you haven’t had your first doses yet it is not too late to start – in fact, it is even more important to take this opportunity to start your vaccination schedule if you haven’t done so already. Approximately five billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have now been given world-wide

Being up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination schedule will protect yourself, the community, and the capacity of our health service and the hospital."

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