Data supports shortening travel quarantine period: Dr. Henry

Dec 3 2020, 4:27 pm

BC’s provincial health officer says there’s a case to be made for lowering quarantine requirements for international travellers down to 10 days from the current 14 days.

Data suggests very few people show COVID-19 symptoms for the first time between day 10 and day 14 of their quarantine, Dr. Bonnie Henry said at her news conference Thursday.

She added the likelihood decreases even further if that person has a COVID-19 test that comes back negative around day seven.

“We are looking at that, having discussions nationally,” she said, acknowledging a shortened quarantine period after travelling would “make things flow more smoothly.”

But she stressed a shortened quarantine period should only apply for international travellers whose activities prior to arriving were relatively low risk. People who are close contacts of confirmed cases or those tied to an outbreak should still quarantine for 14 days, Henry said.

She also reminded British Columbians that travel is still discouraged given the numerous new COVID-19 infections being discovered every day around the province and throughout the country.

“This is once we start to travel again,” she said. “Right now we are not recommending people travel outside your community.”