Coronavirus: Sciensano provides an update on the rules applicable to children under 12

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These should not in fact be quarantined like adults, specifies the organization. The children concerned must take special precautions such as wearing a mask strictly in interior areas (for children from 6 years old) and limiting contact, in particular with groups at risk.

Other children should be subject to high-risk contact rules depending on the immunization status of the adults they stay with, Sciensano continues. If there is a difference in vaccination status between adults, the least vaccinated is taken into account. Therefore, if any of the adults are not fully immunized, the child should remain in quarantine. The length of the quarantine and the timing of the self-test (s) are the same as for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults.

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Rules in schools

In schools, when the so-called “emergency brake” procedure is applied – that is, when there are four infections in a class in a week – the guidelines are stricter because of the intense circulation of the virus. Thus, the class will be closed and all the children and the teacher will be quarantined for five days. “There is no exception,” underlines Sciensano.

The fully vaccinated teacher must also respect a quarantine, as well as children who have had a recent infection, indicates the health organization. After quarantine, there should be an additional five days of increased caution during which, for example, contact should be limited.

If exposed in another setting (for example, a friend at a sports club), the child is considered low-risk contact and should be tested if they have symptoms, according to Sciensano.

End the confusion

In recent days, there has been some confusion over the application of recent changes to quarantine and isolation. Many schools were inundated with phone calls from parents who did not know what rules to apply, without schools being able to inform them.

“We deeply regret the confusion that has resulted (following recent decisions),” Sciensano concludes.

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