GGDs are not satisfied with the immediate introduction of the new quarantine rules. At Friday’s press conference, it was announced that the quarantine would be eased for people who had been in contact with an infected person. Anyone who received a booster vaccination more than a week ago or recovered from COVID-19 less than eight weeks ago no longer needs to be quarantined. Relaxation relates to the high number of infections: due to strict quarantine rules, many people are at home and society is disrupted.
A GGD GHOR spokesperson said 25 regional GGDs were aware the rules would be relaxed. However, the umbrella organization feels overwhelmed by the immediate effect, which is difficult to implement according to GGD GHOR. “We would have liked to see the new rules go into effect on Friday, January 21, so we would have a week of preparation time.”
A week of preparation time for a simple adjustment may seem excessive, but there is plenty of time, according to the spokesperson. Changes must be made in all computer programs, publications, and means of communication. Think of websites and information messages, but also of the thousands of people who answer questions over the phone. The transcripts of their calls must be modified. Then there are all kinds of exceptions, which we are working on in collaboration with RIVM. “
loss from work
The full set of measures went into effect Saturday at 5 a.m., according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health, Welfare and Sports. “Quarantine relief is part of that package, advised by OMT. The importance of immediate implementation is that otherwise many essential functions in society cannot be fulfilled.”
Minister Kuipers (VWS, D66) warns in a letter to Parliament on Friday For temporary confusion due to the immediate introduction: “Changes to information materials for GGD GHOR and RIVM take time, so it may be that initially the information materials and information provided by telephone to people who have tested positive and their close contacts, are not recent.”
Throughout the month of January, the ministry will continue a propaganda campaign on television and social media to encourage compliance with the rules of isolation and quarantine. Central to this is the quarantine check (quarantinecheck.rijksoverheid.nl). Travelers from high-risk areas, such as the UK, are informed of the quarantine obligation through the Travel Quarantine Check (reizentijdenscorona.rijksoverheid.nl).
By the way, the new rules apply only to quarantine. Relaxation does not apply to people who are infected and who live in isolation at home for an indefinite period of time.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of January 17, 2022
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