The Director of Public Health has advised further changes to the rules on self-isolation for close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases.
As from 00:01 on Thursday 23rd December, close contacts who have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or more will not need to self-isolate. This is regardless of the variant of the COVID-19 positive case.
Confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for 10 days.
The new rules for COVID-19 self-isolation for close contacts are:
- If you are double vaccinated and had a booster more than 14 days ago you don’t need to self-isolate. You are required to wear a mask in public, limit your social mixing for 10 days and must report any symptoms to 111 as soon as they develop.
- If you are double vaccinated and had a booster less than 14 days ago or haven’t had a booster you don’t need to self-isolate but if you choose not to do so you are required to take a daily lateral flow test. Please report to the Mid Town drive through during opening hours every day to take a test. You can otherwise go about your normal day but must wear a mask in public, limit your social mixing for 10 days and report any symptoms to 111 as soon as they develop. Cross-frontier workers in this category should only report for daily testing if they are working on that day.
- If you are not vaccinated or have only had 1 dose you are required to self-isolate for 10 days. You will only need to take a test if you develop symptoms. If you notice any symptoms, even mild ones, call 111 immediately to arrange a test appointment.
- Health or social care workers will be risk assessed on an individual basis.
- If you have been positive for COVID-19 in the 90 days before becoming a close contact you are not required to self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status. This is because you will have natural immunity to the virus.
- If you are under 18 years old and in full time education in Gibraltar you do not need to self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status.
Any member of the public who notices any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, should call 111 immediately to arrange an appointment for a test. Please do not attend the Mid Town Drive Through without an appointment unless you are a close contact requiring a daily test. The Mid Town Drive Through will be closed on 25th December and 1st January. Close contacts requiring a daily test should not report for testing on these days.
The best way to protect yourself from all strains of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. The vaccine centre will next open on 29th December and vaccinations will be by appointment only. To make an appointment for the 29th please call 200 66966 by midday on 24th December. The vaccine centre will resume regular evening clinics on 6th January 2022 with advance bookings commencing as from 9am on 4th January 2022.
Call 200 66966 to arrange a vaccine appointment or register your interest online:
- First or second dose – https://www.gha.gi/registration-for-anyone-over-the-age-of-16/
- Booster – https://www.gha.gi/pfizerbooster/
The Director of Public Health, Helen Carter, said: ‘These changes to the self-isolation policy allow double vaccinated close contacts to not have to self-isolate, regardless of the strain of the positive case. This is based on the evidence that both Delta and Omicron are spreading within the community and that Omicron is not leading to an increase in hospitalisations, with most positive Omicron cases only experiencing mild disease so far. This increased flexibility in the self-isolation policy for close contacts reduces the disruption to normal daily life and is a further stepping-stone as we learn from our experiences and move towards living with the virus.’
The Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento, said: ‘These changes in policy allow all close contacts to clearly understand what is required of them. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from all strains this festive season is to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.’