The Department of Health has been inundated with media, stakeholders and public enquiries and comments since the release of the revised protocols on Contact Tracing, Quarantine and Isolation on 23 December 2021.
The reason for the revision was based on a number of scientific factors including the fact that, most people have vaccinated with at least one vaccine dose and developed some level of immunity. This has contributed to the current low hospitalisation and high recovery rates.
Secondly, many people do not show any symptoms, and only a small percentage of them are diagnosed. A number of people including children who are in contact with COVID-19 positive people, lose their income and valuable schooltime while staying at home without symptoms.
Thus, in line with the principles of transparency and openness, the department has decided to put the implementation of the revised policy changes on hold, while taking all additional comments and inputs received into consideration. This means the status quo remains, and all prior existing regulations with regards to contact tracing, quarantine and isolation remain applicable.
An amended circular will be re-issued once all additional inputs and comments have been considered. The department sincerely apologises for any confusion and inconvenience caused.