NRW isolation rules: the end of isolation after five days

corona pandemic
These are the new NRW isolation rules

New rules apply at NRW: Infected people can end their isolation after five days – but only after they test negative. Minister Lohmann describes this to protect vulnerable groups. The FDP criticizes this.

Corona situation is deteriorating, and the infection rate in NRW drops to 542. Therefore, NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) is now relaxing the rules for isolating infected people and quarantining people in contact. Infected people can finish isolation after five days only if the test result is negative. The new quarantine regulation is effective as of today.

What about isolation? Until now, free testing was only possible on the seventh day, and now infected people can finish their isolation on the fifth. Unlike Bavaria, NRW insists on offering an official test. Without a free test, isolation ends automatically after ten days as before. “I consider shortening the duration of isolation to be justified, because after infection with an omicron variant, the incubation times and the course of the disease are usually shorter,” Lohmann said. In addition, the vaccination rate in NRW is above average. 82 percent of citizens have been vaccinated at least once, in Bavaria 75 percent and in Saxony only 66 percent.

Is the free test mandatory after five days? Yeah. This makes NRW stricter than other countries and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which highly recommends a free test. In the NRW, an official swab in the form of a citizen or PCR test is required for the free test. “Even if the RKI only talks about an urgent recommendation for free testing, we are sticking with mandatory free testing by an official body. I think this is still necessary, especially to protect vulnerable people – especially before work resumes at vulnerable facilities,” Lohmann said.

What if symptoms continue to appear on the fifth day? It does not matter, the test result is conclusive. “If the test is negative or the CT value is higher than 30 in the case of a PCR test result, you can test yourself early — even if you still have symptoms. The critical factor is the test result,” a Le Mans spokeswoman said. .

What applies to patients who work in clinics or nursing homes? General regulations apply to them, however: They must be symptom-free for at least 48 hours before resuming work, even with the free test after five days. In principle, they must provide the employer with a negative citizen test, PCR test or PCR test with a Ct value of more than 30 before starting work.

When is insulation applied? The isolation period is counted from the day symptoms first appeared or the test was taken. An order from the authorities is no longer necessary. Anyone infected should be subject to isolation automatically and without a separate official order.

What applies to the quarantine of contacts? The obligation to separate from family members and close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, does not apply. “Anyone who lives in the same household with a person who is in contact with an infected person no longer has to automatically quarantine,” the ministry said. “However, it is recommended to limit contacts. Close contact, especially indoors and large groups, should be avoided for five days.”

What applies to workers in clinics and homes? If they are in close contact, they can work – but only if they are vaccinated. You must also take a test every day – either by an official test center, at your employer, or by self-test. And that’s before you start working and for five days.

What are the reactions? The FDP criticizes the CDU for the duty to test: “I regret that Mr. Laumann and Mr. Wüst did not follow the RKI and coalition partner with the new rules,” said FDP State Parliamentary Group Chair Christoph Rach. He would have liked more confidence in personal responsibility. On the other hand, the North Rhine Pharmacists Syndicate welcomed this measure: “In our testing centers we are still seeing many patients who are still positive after seven days. Shortening the isolation period without a negative rapid test will lead to more From the risk of infection, the Patient Protection Establishment wanted a mandatory PCR test for staff in clinics and at home.

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