Israel to scrap quarantine for children exposed to COVID carriers

Reuters

Posted at Jan 21 2022 10:05 AM

A girl is tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-through site as Israel faces a surge in Omicron variant infections in Jerusalem January 3, 2022. Ammar Awad, Reuters
A girl is tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-through site as Israel faces a surge in Omicron variant infections in Jerusalem January 3, 2022. Ammar Awad, Reuters

JERUSALEM - Israel will ditch mandatory quarantine for children exposed to COVID-19 carriers, the government said on Thursday, citing a need to relieve parents and schools as case numbers spiral due to the fast-spreading but low-morbidity Omicron variant.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that as of Jan. 27, children will instead be required to take twice-weekly home antigen tests for the virus and, if they prove positive or feel unwell, absent themselves from school until they recover.

"Children are returning to continuity in schooling," he said during a televised address with his health and education ministers, adding that medical experts had determined that the young were on sufficiently "safe ground" to warrant the review.

The home kits will be supplied free of charge, he said. (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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