U.S. health authorities on Monday halved the recommended isolation time for people with asymptomatic Covid-19 infections from 10 to five days, with a surge of cases causing travel chaos and threatening wider social disruption.
“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement announcing the change.
“These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives.”
The CDC recommendations, which are non-binding but closely followed by U.S. businesses and policymakers, suggested that the five-day isolation period be “followed by five days of wearing a mask when around others.”
The CDC also updated recommendations for individuals exposed to Covid-19 who are either unvaccinated or booster-eligible but have yet to get one.
For these populations the CDC said it “now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days” after exposure.
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