Health Min: Children from 4-12 may not have to quarantine with cold, flu symptoms
Children aged between 4 and 12 will no longer have to quarantine if they are experiencing flu symptoms, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said in a letter to Tweede Kamer. Children will also no longer be subject to testing obligations, NU.nl reported.
The decision will enter into force once the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) approves it. The new rule is set to be in effect until the start of the new school year, and could be revised by the time the next school year begins.
The advice concerning this age group was modified because children are believed to have a limited role in the spread of the coronavirus, according to Health Ministry policy. "In general, the younger the child, the smaller the role in the spread of the virus. This applies to both the classic virus variant and the more contagious virus variants that have been circulating in the Netherlands since the end of last year," the RIVM said on its website in advice adjusted just last week.
Furthermore, fewer people are now affected by the coronavirus disease in the general population as well, with the hospital total at its lowest point since September.
The so-called 'snot bubble advice' was introduced by Education Minister Arie Slob in February following the growing concerns over the then-dominant Alpha variant of the coronavirus. The rule was adopted just two days before primary schools and childcare centers reopened for the first time since the Christmas holidays.
Primary school children with known chronic respiratory complaints, asthma or hay fever were exempt from the rule.