Outbreak Team: Children without Covid symptoms should not need to quarantine
Children up to 12 years of age no longer need to be quarantined if they do not have symptoms of Covid-19, the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) advised the Cabinet. They should be instructed to use a coronavirus self-test kit every day, but if this is not possible, the GGD or a doctor should still be able to advise them to isolate from others. The OMT also informed the government that children at risk of an infection should severely limit contact with the elderly for at least ten days.
The OMT said that the quarantine rules for children between the ages of 13 and 18 should remain the same, with a ten-day isolating period. This can end after five days if the GGD administers a coronavirus test to the young person that comes back with a negative result.
The experts also said there is no longer a need to send entire classrooms of students home when there are more than three infections in a group. Instead, in the event of an outbreak, all students will be advised to test themselves daily. This applies to both primary and secondary schools, even if students in higher groups are 18 years of age or older.
Additionally, the snot-nose policy can remain in effect, the OMT believes. This means that children up to the age of three with minor complaints, like a runny nose, do not need to get tested for the coronavirus, and they also do not have to remain at home until symptoms disappear.
The OMT said it recognizes that their updated advice will "certainly" lead to more infections, including among adults. Nevertheless, the importance of education is such an important factor that it prompted the experts to rethink their guidelines, wrote OMT chair Jaap van Dissel.
Earlier on Monday, it emerged that the Cabinet was likely to allow the hospitality and cultural sectors to reopen, and that events will soon be able to resume with attendees in fixed seating. Though the issue of school-aged children and quarantines was discussed by Cabinet members, it was not clear which way the Cabinet was leaning.
The members of the Cabinet will make a final decision about any changes to coronavirus policy on Tuesday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Ernst Kuipers will explain the situation at a press conference in the evening.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.