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Why are quarantines against Omicron kept short?

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Why are quarantines against Omikron kept short?
Why are quarantines against Omikron kept short?

Why are quarantines against Omicron kept short?

Why do countries keep the quarantine period short, despite the Omicron variant of Covid-19, which is spreading extremely fast?

Today, Europe faces a serious labor shortage as the new mutated variant of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) Omicron continues to spread at record rates, forcing infected cases and contacts to quarantine.

According to the US-based media outlet Politico, most of the countries are starting to re-evaluate the quarantine rules and duration to manage infection risks together, while re-implementing precautionary measures such as the obligation to wear masks in the face of Omikron’s effects on the economy and bringing vital services to a standstill.

Being the first country in Europe, the Greek government announced on Thursday that it has reduced the quarantine period to five days for those infected, a measure also taken by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In contrast, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland implemented the quarantine period of 7, while the Italian government lifted the quarantine of contacts if citizens had received two doses of vaccine against the coronavirus.

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However, why do countries keep the quarantine period short, despite the extremely fast spreading Omikron variant?

The answer to this question varies between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.

A new study in the USA found that people who have been vaccinated against coronavirus need 5.5 days to recover from the epidemic, while people who are unvaccinated need 7.5 days.

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said its analysis indicated that a seven-day isolation period with two negative coronavirus test results had the same protection as a 10-day isolation period without a Covid-19 test.

The US, in turn, stressed that reducing the quarantine period is science-driven.

Greece, on the other hand, said the initial findings suggest that the Omicron infection may not only be less severe, but also shorter-lived, allowing for a lower quarantine period.

Countries justify reducing the quarantine period despite high infection rates by seeking means to keep hospitals and essential public services running while limiting the spread of the virus.

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UKHSA explained that the reduction in the quarantine period is based on the need to protect vital services and supply chains during the winter months.

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