Quarantine rules relaxed for essential workers
People in essential occupations no longer have to quarantine after contact with a Covid-19 infected person if they have no symptoms. However, they must first receive approval from their employer to come to work, Health Minister Ernst Kuipers said in a letter to parliament. Together with the works council or staff representation, the employer will determine which functions are essential and cannot be done from home.
If an employee can come to work after Covid-19 contact, they must self-test daily, get tested by the GGD five days after contact, wear a face mask, and keep their distance from their colleagues. Anyone who gets symptoms must go home immediately and quarantine, Kuipers wrote. The employee and ad employer are jointly responsible for ensuring that the coronavirus does not spread in the workplace, the Minister said.
With this measure, the government wants to prevent society from being disrupted and sectors coming to a standstill due to too many workers in quarantine. They previously decided that quarantine is no longer necessary after a booster shot or recent coronavirus infection, provided that the person has no symptoms. Anyone who is infected must isolate themselves.
The Outbreak Management Team (OMT) also advised this exception for employees who haven't had their booster shot. It added emphatically that the exception only applies to work and is therefore not a license to go exercise or to the store, for example. The Cabinet promised to follow this advice but would only come up with details later.
It is not clear whether the adjustment will only apply to employees in essential sectors, such as healthcare, or whether it will also apply to other fields of work. The OMT had recommended that it be applied to at least essential professions, but possibly also to other sectors. Kuipers did not say in his letter that it only applies to essential sectors.
Reporting by ANP.