New COVID-19 regulations: No need to test or isolate without symptoms

New COVID-19 regulations: No need to test or isolate without symptoms

The South African government has made changes to some of the COVID-19 regulations. Read all about it here. 

Covid-19 testing

The government has set new rules when it comes to tracing, quarantine, and isolation.

According to SA Coronavirus website, the decision to revise some of the regulations are because:

  • Most people (60 to 80%) have some immunity because they were sick before or because they are vaccinated
  • New knowledge about the virus – many people do not have any symptoms and only a small proportion of cases are diagnosed
  • quarantine is costly and many people lose their income because they cannot go to work, while children have to stay home from school.


In an announcement published on the government website, those who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 no longer needs to test unless they have symptoms.

“You should only get tested if you develop symptoms yourself,” states the government website.

READ: Covid-19 reinfection risk much greater with Omicron, warns Phaahla

It also announced that there is no longer a need to quarantine for ten days if you do not have symptoms.

 “All quarantine will stop with immediate effect. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” states the website.

However, isolation depends on how sick you feel.

Below are the guidelines for isolation: 

  • If you are asymptomatic (you do not have any symptoms):

– no isolation period required (you can continue working and doing other activities)
– closely check yourself for symptoms for five to seven days
– avoid large gatherings
– always wear a mask
– keep a distance of 1.5m from other people

  • If you have mild disease (you have symptoms, but do not need to go to the hospital) you should:
    – isolate for eight days
    – wear a mask at all times (even at home)
  • If you have severe disease (shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain and need to go to a hospital) you should:
    – isolate for ten days after the doctor says you are stable
    – wear a mask at all times (even at home) while you isolate.

READ: How to emotionally prepare yourself for self-isolation at home

Returning to work

The government website says after isolation, there is no longer a need to test.

You can return to work after your isolation and there is no need for another test, however, if you are still feeling sick after the isolation period, you must contact your doctor.

“Return to your doctor or clinic. They can provide you with a medical report that states that you should isolate for a longer period,” states the government website. 

READ: South Africa sees spike in child infections

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Drazen Zigic

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