What new rules are in South Africa? 

Get in touch with tracing

Anyone who has been in touch with someone positive for Covid-19 can apply. can continue with their normal duties but with heightened monitoring (daily temperature testing, symptom screening) of any early signs.

They should be checked if they have symptoms.     

For confirmed cases, please certify that you are Quarantining

With immediate effect, Quarantine will be lifted for all confirmed contacts who have been vaccinated or not. 

If the contact develops symptoms, they are not required to test positive for Covid-19.    


Patients with symptoms are not needed to be isolated. They must observe for signs and symptoms themselves within the first five to seven days following contact. 

You must take extra precautions, such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Avoid gatherings. 

For mild cases, isolate the patient for at least eight days.  

Patients with severe conditions that require hospitalization must be kept isolated for 10 day after being stabilised by doctors. 

When health workers are tested positive for mild to severe symptoms they should wear N95 masks and not be in close proximity with patients at high risk. 

If the 8-10 day stay in isolation is observed, mild to severe cases can be returned to work without the need for a covid testing.    

South Africa announced that it would stop contact tracing, and will end quarantine in asymptomatic patients because the containment of this virus was ‘no longer possible’. 

Today’s graphs show that the Omicron epidemic in the country has receded within a month. On December 15, cases peaked at 26,976 nationally, and they have fallen the past five days.  

South Africa’s health officials, which are the originators of Omicron, stated today that all contact tracing will be stopped immediately except in large groups or self-contained settings.   

The idea of isolating asymptomatic patients was abandoned, while severe and mild cases were instructed to stay isolated for eight and ten consecutive days.  

The close contacts of Covid-19 patients will no longer need to quarantine, no matter if they have been vaccinated.  

South Africa, which was designated as the “ground zero” for this new variant in late December, saw an explosive rise in infection rates of 670 to more that 20,000 within three weeks.

However, cases have fallen five consecutive days since December 15th when they peaked at 26,976 nationally. They fell 22 percent in the last week, after being recorded at 21,099

Although there was concern that an epidemic of infections would ensue, doctors at the frontlines reported patients coming in with milder illnesses.

British chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty dismissed the claims. He claimed that South Africa was benefiting from a smaller and younger population.

But in another promising sign hospitalisations now appear to be levelling off nationally in South Africa, hovering just below 400 admissions a day — compared to a height of 2,000 when Delta took hold.

Yesterday’s admissions fell by four percent, and another 593 people were added to the list. With only 99 deaths yesterday, death rates are just a fraction compared to when Delta was established. 

The average death rate in this country is 50 per day, which is only slightly higher than 20 when Omicron was first discovered. At the height of the Delta wave, there were 600 deaths per day. 

South African scientist Dr Michelle Groome said in a press briefing yesterday that infections are  now levelling off in three of the country’s nine provinces after peaking in Gauteng about a week ago.

Hospitalisations will continue to rise, as well as deaths, for the remaining weeks. This is due to the time lag between serious illness and infection.

Britain is currently four weeks into the Omicron epidemic. Cases are now increasing to over 90,000 per day. Hospitalisations exceed 800 per day. Deaths have risen beyond 100.

However, three studies from the real world that were published yesterday found Omicron to be milder than Delta infections and have a lower risk of putting people into hospital. 

Researchers are still unsure if Omicron has an intrinsically milder immune system than Delta. However, they believe that Omicron’s built-up immunity to previous infections and the subsequent lower severity is likely. 

The above graphs show how Covid cases are falling in South Africa compared to when the Delta variant took hold. Both waves were set to begin the first time a case of the variant was reported, which was May 8 for Delta and November 25 for Omicron. It reveals that hospitalisations are also dropping earlier than they did when Delta took hold. Deaths are still rising, but this is a lagging indicator because of the time taken for someone infected with the virus to become seriously ill

These graphs illustrate how South Africa’s Covid cases have fallen since the introduction of the Delta variant. Each wave was to start the moment a new case was reported for the variant. Omicron was November 25, while Delta was set for May 8. This shows that hospitalisations have fallen earlier than when Delta was established. While deaths continue to rise, it is still a poor indicator due to how long it takes for someone with the virus infected to get seriously ill.

South Africa’s National Institute for Infectious Diseases compiles data on Covid-related deaths, hospitalisations and cases.

These figures indicate that Covid case numbers across the country are now declining over seven days, from 20,791 last week to 17,440 yesterday.

The current country conducts 58,000 blood draws per day. This is comparable to early December, when the number of cases rose but was down by 14,000 compared to a week ago.

South African Covids cases fell AGAIN by 22 percent last week. This raises hopes for their Omicron wave. 

According to the latest figures from South Africa, Daily Covid cases have dropped by 22% compared to last weeks. This raises hopes that South Africa’s Omicron wave will soon be ended. 

South Africa’s scientists discovered the variant and recorded 2199 cases of new infections in 24 hours. This is nearly half the number of the 26,976 infections that were confirmed on Wednesday.

A fifth fewer people were tested for the virus in the last 24 hours compared to the same period last week, but test positivity — the proportion of those tested who are infected — has been trending downwards for nine days.    

The number of hospitalisations has also declined slightly, with over 590 patients admitted to the hospitals in the country. This is according to data from National Institute For Communicable Diseases, (NICD).

But deaths – which lag two to three weeks behind the pattern seen in case numbers due to the delay in an infected person becoming seriously unwell – have risen.

On Wednesday, 99 more deaths related to Covid were reported than the 54 that occurred a week earlier.    

This is despite the fact that only 25% of South Africans have been double-jabbed. Boosters are also not distributed in South Africa. 

This raises the possibility that Omicron waves from the UK will be brief-lived. Britain has a booster program which provides additional protection.

But the positivity rate — the proportion of swabs that detect the virus — is down on a week ago at 30.6 per cent, suggesting the drop in cases is real and not due to fewer tests being carried out. 

Broken down by province, there is a seven-day decrease in Covid cases across five of the nine country provinces.

The epicentre Gauteng has a 60% drop in weekly traffic, with 9,956 to 4,088 cases daily.

The North West is seeing a decline of 31% in cases week-on–week. Limpopo has a drop of 29% from 885 to 625; Mpumalanga’s is at 28% from 1,180 to 848 and Free State is at 10.53% from 1,192 to 1,066.

South Africa’s Covid testing per Province has been broken down to date, December 18. This makes it unclear whether these drops are due to real declines or falls in the numbers of tests performed. 

Nationally, the positive attitude rate has increased in recent days. However it is still below what it was a week earlier. 

About half of all swabs take place in epicentre Gauteng. This suggests that any decline in the number of cases could be due in part to drop in this province.

The country is seeing a decline in hospitalisations.

A drop in the number of people living in Gauteng’s epicentre has been recorded. They fell by a third to 392 per day, in one week.

But, Covid patients are still increasing on country’s hospital wards. On Monday, there were 9,300 patients at the hospital. This is an increase of 7,300 from a week earlier.

Figures show that more patients are in ICU or on ventilators. 613 people now reside in emergency rooms across the country, while 239 require the devices to aid them in breathing. 

Dr Groome said yesterday: ‘All indications are that we’ve seen the end of the — that we’ve surpassed the peak of infections in Gauteng. In terms of decreasing case numbers, this is very encouraging.

‘But I think we really do need to be cognizant that… people are now traveling, and there may be changes in terms of the number of people that may be testing and so some of the lower numbers may be due to the holiday season.’ 

This could indicate that Britain is not being overwhelmed by the Omicron variant.

Yesterday was the first day that cases surpassed 100,000 for the entire pandemic. This is a 35% increase on the week before. 

In Omicron epicentre London cases hit their highest level ever recorded in a single 24 hour period, after 27,799 infections were detected. This level was higher than the 26,608 case record set 5 days ago and represents a 44% increase on last week.

Some scientists believe that Covid case numbers in the UK are on the verge of plateauing. Francois Balloux is a University College London geneticist who told The Times that Omicron case numbers are probably peaking.

He denied that the problem was caused by testing capacity and said that infection rates would need to increase further before the UK is overwhelmed.

However, experts are split on the issue of infection. While some say MailOnline cases may have reached their peak due to increased immunity in the population, and people restricting contact ahead of Christmas, others claim that stagnant levels of testing could be masking increases.

Covid infection rates hovered around 90,000. They rose to above 100,000 in the past six days, but have been stable for the last week, at 1.5million.

MailOnline spoke with Professor Alan McNally from the University of Birmingham. He said that UK has’maxed out its PCR testing capabilities and the result is positive cases seem flat.

He stated that despite data showing Omicron still doubles, the number of test conducted was flat over days. This is a sign that we cannot do more tests each day.

MailOnline has been told that Covid cases by Professor Francois Baloux at University College London.

He disregarded concerns about the UK’s swabbing capability masking real infection levels. However, he noted that 10-15% of PCR results are positive. Before the UK’s covid testing infrastructure could be overloaded, ‘infections will have to rise dramatically’.

He said that high vaccination rates are suppressing diseases and not vaccine intake.

Professor Balloux stated that although Omicron has a higher chance of re-infecting people who have been immunized, three doses are still effective in protecting against infection.

“This could explain why Omicron circulates more favorably among young people.”