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What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation and quarantine are used to prevent the spreading of contagious disease. The difference is that people in isolation are already infected. Quarantine, on the other hand, is used to separate people who are suspected of being infected but their diagnosis has not been confirmed or disproved yet.

When to quarantine?

You need to quarantine if you have been in high-risk exposure with a person who has been tested positive for coronavirus. Quarantine is mandatory. You can quarantine in most cases at home, or e.g. at your weekend cottage.

You do not need to quarantine after a risky contact with an infected person if you have been vaccinated against Covid-19 (If you have received a two dose vaccine, you must have a min. of 14 days after the second dose. If you have received a single dose vaccine, you will be considered vaccinated 14 days after this dose..) and within 14 days of at risk contact, you do not show any symptoms of the disease. You also do not need to quarantine if you do not have symptoms of the disease and you have had a positive test result in the past 180 days and have passed the ordered isolation.

Quarantine is ordered by a member of the staff of the local Public Health Office, or a special track and trace call centre.

However, at the moment there are many cases of the infection, therefore it is likely that the track and trace team will not be able to reach you before you are actually infected. If there is anyone close to you who has been tested positive with coronavirus and you have been in high-risk exposure with this person, please be considerate to the others and quarantine voluntarily. Please contact your GP, inform them about the high-risk exposure. The GP practice will be able to provide a referral to the coronavirus testing centre.

How long do I need to quarantine?

If you underwent an RT-PCR test on the 5th to 7th day, but no later than the 10th day after the last risk contact, which was negative and you do not have any symptoms of the disease you need to quarantine for 14 days after the last contact with the infected person.

If exceptionally, the RT-PCR test cannot be taken in 10 days and you have no symptoms of the disease, you must remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last risk contact.

If you share a household with an infected person and it is not possible to isolate the infected person, undergo an RT-PCR test on the 5th to 7th day, but no later than on the 10th day from the first positive result of the infected person. The length of your quarantine is 14 days from the date of taking the positive test.

What happens next?

If throughout the whole quarantine no symptoms of COVID-19 appear and your RT-PCR test is negative, you are healthy, on the 15th day after the last contact with the infected person, your quarantine is over.

If your RT-PCR COVID-19 test is positive, you have been diagnosed with coronavirus and you need to self-isolate.

“The Game Rules”

  • Stay at home (meaning: do not go to work, to school, or to any public places)
  • Watch out for any symptoms of COVID-19, especially higher temperature, cough, or breathing difficulties.
  • If any of these symptoms appear, please contact your GP. Your GP will advise what to do next.
  • If a cough, fever, or breathing difficulties appear, please wear a face-covering which will protect people around you from getting infected.
  • If possible, speak to your employer about any possibilities to work from home.
  • Sanitize your home, especially often used surfaces and toilets.
  • If you need to go e.g. to the pharmacy or shopping, ask your friends, neighbors, or social workers for any help. More details in the Volunteers topic
  • Stay in touch with your family and friends via phone, email, or social media. Look after your mental and physical health.

You can find a rule chart for home quarantine on the website.

Violation of the quarantine can result in a fine of up to CZK 3 million.