Government under pressure to end Omicron quarantine

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There are indications that Omicron has a shorter incubation period than previous variants and that people are infectious for a shorter period. Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Calls are mounting for the Swiss federal government to reduce periods of quarantine and isolation, lest the increase in Omicron cases cripple the country due to understaffing.

This content was published on January 9, 2022 – 13:36

Keystone-SDA / jc

Cantonal health directors in eastern Switzerland have written to the government to demand that the period of quarantine and isolation be reduced from ten to five days, Zurich cantonal health minister Natalie Rickli said in an interview with NZZ am Sonntag newspaper. The canton of Zurich alone could see 40,000 new cases a day by the end of January, which would cripple society if nothing is done, she warned.

People who show no symptoms after 48 hours should be allowed out of quarantine, health directors said in their letter sent Friday, because Omicron has a shorter incubation period than previous variants of Covid-19.

The president of cantonal doctors, Kurt Hauri, is also open to such a proposal, reports the NZZ, citing indications that people infected with Omicron are infectious for a shorter period. A source told the newspaper that discussions within the government were on the same lines.

As of Friday, some 89,989 people were in isolation and 28,247 in quarantine, according to the Federal Office of Public Health OFSP). Last week, the umbrella organization of the Swiss economy, Economiesuisse, also called for a reduction in the quarantine period to five days for people without symptoms. This would reduce the risk of damage to the economy, he said.


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