BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – From March 17 onwards, the obligation to test or quarantine will be lifted after high-risk contact within the family. Today, this is already the case for those who have been vaccinated, and that extends to those who have not or still have to take the other doses of the vaccination. The various health ministers agreed on this on Wednesday.
After the decision of the Consultation Committee to switch to code yellow on the corona barometer, the inter-ministerial Health conference focused on the testing, isolation and quarantine strategy on the morning of Wednesday. It bases this, along with other things, on advice from the RAG and according to that body the country is currently at level 2 of the epidemiological situation.
What this means is that the virus circulation is still high and individuals with symptoms should continue to test and isolate if they are tested positive. Testing can be done in the test centres and at the pharmacies. There will be changes in the quarantine rule for high-risk contacts within the household from next Wednesday. Therefore, there will be an equalisation of vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals in this area.
In case there is a high-risk contact in the household, quarantine is no longer mandatory. It remains highly recommended though for everyone to wear a face mask outside the family for a period of upto seven days after high-risk contact or to do a daily self-test if wearing a face mask is not possible.
Five possible scenarios
Ministers also endorsed five possible scenarios for a further vaccination campaign later this year. The most plausible scenario starts with the administration of the second booster dose in the fall. This will start with the most vulnerable individuals due to their age. These are residents of residential care centres and people who are 75 years of age or older.
The second booster dose can be offered along with the flu vaccine to the highest-risk or most exposed groups of the society. These are the caregivers, the elderly, people with a weakened immune system or people with comorbidities.