Self-isolation period for Covid positives set to reduce, with conditions
The self-isolation period for Covid positive cases will be reduced to seven days, albeit subject to certain conditions.
The new rules, which are not yet in effect, will see Covid positives able to leave isolation on day seven, as long as they have no symptoms on day six and have a negative Lateral Flow Test [LFT] on day six, continue to self-isolate and have another negative LFT on day seven.
The Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, told the Chronicle she is working towards changing the rules to reduce the long self-isolation period.
If the person tests negative twice, they will be able to leave self-isolation on receipt of their second negative test.
The LFTs would be carried out in a supervised manner, either at the Covid-19 Drive Through or the soon-to-be announced alternative providers.
Once a person leaves isolation they will have to continue to wear a mask until they have reached 10 days since initially testing positive.
In terms of rules for close contacts, unvaccinated close contacts will continue to need to self-isolate for 10 days.
"By not vaccinated, I classify that now as one or less doses," Dr Carter said.
"If you are double, or double and boosted - we've indicated a fully vaccinated definition will change to double and boosted - then there will be no need to self-isolate."
Dr Carter added full details on the changing self-isolation and close contacts conditions will be announced as they come into effect.
"This is important as this is keeping our case numbers [down], we are not seeing the exponential growth in the number of new cases like the UK or indeed we are beginning to see across Europe," she said.
"There's a number of reasons why that is, clearly it’s the success of our booster vaccination programme and the level of immunity, but it’s also the supervised testing model that we have."
She added the pre-Christmas behaviour change which saw Gibraltarians socialising less has also curbed the growth in cases, despite Omicron being 70 times more infectious than the Delta variant.