This relaxation is justified by the need to protect the screening system, put under pressure by the sharp increase in infections with the Omicron variant, but also by the need to manage the social impact of health measures, particularly in terms of absenteeism at the hospital. school or work.
Duration of home isolation
As of January 10, people positive for Covid, if they are asymptomatic or have only mild complaints, will see the duration of their home isolation reduced to 7 days, provided they have not had a fever for 3 days and observed clinical improvement in complaints. However, these people must comply with 3 additional days of protective measures, such as limiting the number of contacts to what is strictly necessary or wearing a mask (preferably an FFP2 mask) at all times in an indoor area. This means that all activities for which it is impossible to wear a mask (such as eating with other people) are not allowed.
In homes and other nursing and care homes, the duration of solitary confinement for asymptomatic residents or in the event of mild complaints is reduced from 14 days to 10 days (provided there too that residents do not have a fever. for 3 days and there is clinical improvement in complaints). For healthcare staff in these communities, the isolation period is 7 days, followed by the compulsory wearing of an FFP2 mask (without valve) in the workplace.
Regarding quarantines (i.e. preventive separation in the event of high-risk contact), a difference is made between people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not. Fully vaccinated high-risk contacts simply no longer need to go into quarantine. However, they must apply strict preventive measures (mouth mask, preferably FFP2, distancing, no contact with vulnerable people, etc.) up to 10 days after the high-risk contact.
A person who has received their booster vaccine, or who has received the last dose of their basic vaccination for no more than 5 months, or who has had a certificate of recovery for no more than 5 months, is considered to be fully vaccinated. Young people between the ages of 12 and 17 who have received their basic vaccination, regardless of the date of vaccination, are considered fully vaccinated.
Partially vaccinated high-risk contacts should go into quarantine for 7 days. From day 4, the quarantine can be lifted on condition of carrying out daily negative self-tests and strictly applying preventive measures (mouth mask, preferably FFP2, social distance, no contact with vulnerable people, etc.) up to 10 days after high risk contact. A partially vaccinated person is a person who received the last dose of their primary vaccination more than 5 months ago and who has not yet received their booster vaccination.
High-risk, unvaccinated contacts must be quarantined for 10 days; From the 7th day, the quarantine can be lifted on condition of carrying out daily negative self-tests, and strictly applying preventive measures (mouth mask, preferably FFP2, distance, avoidance of contact with vulnerable people, etc.) until ‘to 10 days after high risk contact.
The child aged 5 to 11 has the status of the adult with whom he currently resides. This means that the child will have to follow the same quarantine rules as this adult, i.e. if one of the adults is subject to quarantine (or isolation), the child is also subject to quarantine. .
As for tests, those in the workplace are abandoned. Asymptomatic high-risk contacts are no longer tested (except for self-tests), whereas symptomatic high-risk contacts and inbound travelers are.
The rules for nursery and primary schools (basic education) were the subject of a separate decision, in order to keep the establishments open as much as possible, while preserving the screening system. Children in primary school are considered low-risk contacts if the classes are well ventilated and if – in the case of primary school children – the mouth mask is used consistently and correctly.
If a child has had high-risk contact outside of the classroom but is not sick, he or she can leave quarantine to go to school.
The rule is also relaxed regarding the quarantine of a class. This will only be the case as soon as there are 4 infected cases (instead of 2), with or without symptoms, or 25% of the class. The class is then closed for 5 days, instead of 7.
Already started in Flanders and Brussels, vaccination of 5 to 11 year olds begins this week in Wallonia. Hospitals can vaccinate children at risk on Monday. For the other children, from Wednesday January 19, and after a pilot phase in the vaccination centers of Liège and Mons on January 12 and 15, all the vaccination centers will devote their Wednesday afternoons to it (from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ) and their Saturday mornings (until noon). You can make an appointment via www.jemevaccine.be or the free number 0800 / 45.019.
In Brussels, after the pilot phase which ended last week, the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 is extended this Monday to the seven vaccination centers, and in various hospitals from January 11.
The SNCB, it returns this Monday to an almost complete transport offer.