Health Ministry shortens coronavirus isolation period to 12 days

Long-awaited change in policy: Coronavirus isolation period drops from 14 to 12 days • Hauser lauds move, asks it to be lowered to 10 days

A coronavirus test being held in a Drive and Test compound  (photo credit: MDA)
A coronavirus test being held in a Drive and Test compound
(photo credit: MDA)
The coronavirus isolation period will be shortened from 14 days to 12 days in most instances, the Health Ministry announced Thursday.
Under the new procedure, a person who enters isolation after returning from abroad or coming into contact with someone who had the virus must register with the Health Ministry online or through its call center.
The individual should then take a PCR swab test as soon as possible and must be retested on the 10th day after arrival or contact – not after the first test. The second test must be carried out at least 24 hours after the first one.
If both tests are negative and the person does not experience any symptoms, he or she would be certified healthy by the Health Ministry and be allowed to leave isolation.
Coronavirus tests must be performed at drive-in centers certified by the ministry.
The new plan took effect on Thursday at midnight and applies retroactively to people already in isolation.
MK Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz) welcomed the move but said the Health Ministry should reduce the isolation period even more, from 12 to 10 days.
“This step would save hundreds of millions of shekels and reduce harm to the public,” he said.
Hauser said 1,705,104 Israelis have been in quarantine at some point since the start of the pandemic, costing the country NIS 1 billion.
The country would save NIS 280 million by shortening the isolation period to 12 days and NIS 560m. if it were 10 days, meaning that each day of quarantine costs NIS 140m., the Finance Ministry has said.