At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health restrictions including self-isolation of positive cases and their close contacts were vital to reduce onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2, thus preventing deaths and the potential overwhelming of health-care services. However, the requirement for prolonged and often repeated episodes of self-isolation has had an enormous impact on individuals' psychological, financial, and educational wellbeing, disproportionately affecting those on lower incomes, the self-employed, and those unable to work from home.

Self-isolation policies have also had wider deleterious effects on national economies, infrastructure, and the delivery of public services, such as health care and education.


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Cite as

Vink, E. & Ho, A. 2022, 'SARS-CoV-2: can isolation be limited to those who are truly infectious?', The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 10(11), pp. 1011-1013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(22)00272-7

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Last updated: 23 November 2022
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