The Department of Health says the implementation of the revised COVID-19 contract tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols released last week have been suspended.
In a statement, the department said it has been “inundated with media, stakeholders and public enquiries and comments” since the release of the new protocols – leading to the decision to put the new protocols on hold.
“[In] line with the principles of transparency and openness, the department has decided to put the implementation of the revised policy changes on hold, while taking all additional comments and inputs received into consideration.
This means the status quo remains, and all prior existing regulations with regards to contact tracing, quarantine and isolation remain applicable.
“An amended circular will be re-issued once all additional inputs and comments have been considered. The department sincerely apologises for any confusion and inconvenience caused,” the statement read.
The department explained that the revised protocols were “based on a number of scientific factors”.
“[This is] including the fact that, most people have vaccinated with at least one vaccine dose and developed some level of immunity. This has contributed to the current low hospitalisation and high recovery rates.
“Secondly, many people do not show any symptoms, and only a small percentage of them are diagnosed. A number of people including children who are in contact with COVID-19 positive people, lose their income and valuable school time while staying at home without symptoms,” the department said.