Your Covid-19 questions answered
Do I need to re-test for Covid-19 before returning to work?
If an employee has been diagnosed with Covid-19, an employer may only allow them to return to work after the mandatory 10 days of self-isolation.
This is according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), which said the employee may need to undergo a medical evaluation confirming their fitness to work.
“At present, retesting people who have experienced mild illness, and have recovered from Covid-19, is not recommended,” said the NICD.
“A person is considered safe to return to the workplace and discontinue self-isolation if they are no longer infectious. This means they developed their first symptoms more than 10 days prior and have not experienced any symptoms for at least three days (72 hours). However, returning to work is dependent on the patient’s clinical state of health.”
The NICD said people who have been self-quarantining because they had contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 and have completed their 10-day isolation period without developing symptoms can return to work on day 11.
“There is no requirement to be tested prior to returning to work. It is, however, recommended they continue to practise social distancing and good hygiene as a precaution and wear a surgical mask,” it said.
The institute also said it was common for people to continue to have symptoms for longer than the 10-day period and that full recovery may take several weeks.
“Patients who are still symptomatic at the end of their isolation period can be de-isolated provided that their fever has resolved (without the use of antipyretics) and their symptoms have improved. If symptoms are persisting, the worker should seek medical assessment from their practitioner,” said the NICD.
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