The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has issued Covid-19 quarantine/isolation leave guidelines for all employees, take effect as of today 22 April 2021.
The Ministry pointed out that if an employee is confirmed to have Covid-19 and tested positive for active “infectious” Covid-19, s/he should be subject to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. If the PCR test confirmed reactive “non-infectious” Covid-19, s/he should be subject to isolation for 7 days and their Ehteraz status will change to “Red” while in quarantine. The specified isolation period should be considered “sick leave”, and in the event the Covid-19 case required hospitalization and quarantine prolonged for more than 14 days, the whole period should be considered “sick leave” until the patient has recovered from the infection.
The MoPH defined the categories of employees who are close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases. An employee will be exempt from quarantine if s/he has been fully vaccinated or infected with Covid-19 virus during the past six months and met the MoPH’s close-contact criteria, provided that the result of the Covid-19 PCR test is negative after contacting the infected person. Such employees should self-isolate and continue to monitor themselves for Covid-19 symptoms for the next 14 days.
Employees who have not received the vaccine and haven’t contracted Covid-19 before, but came in close contact with a person infected with active “infectious” Covid-19 and met the MoPH’s close-contact definition, they should be subject to quarantine for 14 days. However, those who were in contact with a case with reactive “non-infectious” Covid-19, they should be subject to quarantine for seven days and their Ehteraz status will change to “Yellow” while in quarantine. Quarantined employees should monitor themselves for Covid-19 symptoms and take a Covid-19 PCR test to rule out Covid-19 infection. Once the Ehteraz status has changed to “Green”, the employee could return to work. The MoPH indicated that this period of staying away from work is called “quarantine period” and will not be labeled as “sick leave”, but rather work from home.
The MoPH urged all employees to follow the precautionary measures at the workplace, and called on employers to provide safe work environment, spacious ventilated work area for their employees in accordance with the MoPH guidelines. Employers should also ensure employees’ adherence to precautionary measures and demand those who develop Covid-19 symptoms to take the Covid-19 test and self-isolate until the result comes out.
It is noteworthy that health isolation is defined as a period during which people with active Covid-19 infection need to be isolated at home (if the house allows this) or in a health facility designated for isolation until they are no longer infectious. This period is usually 14 days. While quarantine is a period during which a person in close contact with confirmed Covid-19 case must be separated from others until s/he had recovered from the Covid-19 infection proved through a Covid-19 PCR test, and this period may reach 14 days.
The employees’ leave guidelines during Covid-19 isolation and quarantine are published on the websites of the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
Source: Ministry of Public Health