COVID quarantine periods cut to 5 days in Bavaria

COVID quarantine periods cut to 5 days in Bavaria

The southern German state of Bavaria has announced that it will relax its self-isolation requirements for people who test positive for coronavirus and their contacts, making it the first state in Germany to change the rules since the government’s dramatic U-turn last week.

Self-isolation rules relaxed in Bavaria

State Health Minister Klaus Holetschek confirmed on Wednesday that, as of midnight on Tuesday, people living in Bavaria are only required to quarantine for five days following a positive COVID test result, so long as they have not been showing acute symptoms for the last 48 hours. No negative test is required. 

If someone is still showing “acute” symptoms such as a fever or a cough, they need to stay home until they have not had symptoms for at least 48 hours, or for a maximum of 10 days. 

The new rules also impact close contacts of positive COVID cases, who under the old quarantine rules have been required to quarantine for 10 days, unless they had received a booster shot or recently recovered from the virus themselves. From now on, contacts are not required to quarantine at all in Bavaria. 

The rules are slightly stricter for people working in positions that put them in close contact with vulnerable people, for instance in healthcare, hospitals and nursing homes. People with these jobs will need to test negative with either a PCR or rapid test on day five before being allowed to return to work. 

Quarantine could be shortened in other German states later this month

Holetschek said that people should continue to “behave responsibly” by “wearing a mask for a while after the end of isolation and keeping contacts to a minimum.” He added, “We continue to ask infected people to inform their close contacts. We also recommend that close contacts should reduce their own contacts and work from home if possible, and self-test for five days.” 

The move comes just a week after the Federal Health Ministry raised eyebrows by announcing that it was making COVID self-isolation voluntary in Germany from the beginning of May, before U-turning on the statement less than 48 hours later, stating that the matter was up to the states to implement. 

A meeting of state health ministers is scheduled for April 25, and the Bavarian minister hinted this week that the rules could soon be further relaxed. He said he would be pushing for “developing a timeline to move forward on when isolation will no longer be mandatory.” 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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