• MoPH issues sick leave guidelines for employees
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has issued guidelines regarding sick leaves to all employees during the isolation and quarantine period associated with Covid-19, which will be implemented starting April 21.
The MoPH clarified that an employee, who is confirmed to have Covid-19 and the result of the PCR examination shows that he has an active infection, must be placed under appropriate isolation for a period not less than 14 days. If the test result shows that the employee has an infection which is non-infectious, then the employee must be placed under appropriate isolation for a period of 7 days. The "Ehteraz" app will be in red for the duration of the isolation, indicating that the said period is considered "sick leave". In the event that the person is required to be admitted to the hospital and the isolation period is extended for a period of more than 14 days, the entire period will be considered as sick leave until recovery from the disease.
The ministry also clarified the classifications for an employee who has been in close contact with a person with Covid-19 disease. If the employee has been fully vaccinated, or has contracted the Covid-19 virus during the past six months, and meets the Ministry of Public Health's definition of close contact, he will be exempt from quarantine, provided that the result of the Covid-19 PCR test is negative after contact with an infected person. He shall self-quarantine for a day until the test result comes, and he shall continue to monitor himself for any symptoms similar to Covid-19 during the next 14 days.
As for the employees, who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 and have not had the disease before, but came in close contact with a person with an active (infectious) Covid-19 infection, and who meet the Ministry of Public Health's definition of close contact, they must be subject to appropriate quarantine for a period of 14 days. Employees, who come in close contact with a person with a reactive (non-infectious) Covid-19 infection, will be subject to quarantine for a period of seven days, and the "EHTERAZ" app will be yellow for the duration of the quarantine. The employees who are in the quarantine period must monitor themselves for any symptoms of Covid-19 disease. At the end of the quarantine period and after proving no infection with Covid-19 disease through a PCR test, the employee can return to work if the Ehteraz app status changes to green again. The Ministry of Public Health stated that this period is called "the quarantine period" and is not considered sick leave, but rather work from home.
The ministry urged all employees to adhere to preventive measures in the workplace, and employers must ensure a safe work environment with adequate work space and good ventilation for their employees in accordance with the guidelines of the MoPH in this regard, and employers must ensure that their employees adhere to preventive measures and obligate any employee who shows signs or symptoms of infection with Covid-19 to undergo a virus examination and self-isolate until the result of the examination is available.
It is noteworthy that health isolation is defined as a period of time during which people with active Covid-19 infection need to be isolated at home (if the house allows this) or in a health facility designated for isolation until they are no longer contagious. This period is usually 14 days. While quarantine is a period of time during which a person in contact with confirmed Covid-19 case must be separated from others until recovery from his infection with Covid-19 disease is proved through a Coronavirus PCR test, and this period may reach 14 days.
The guidelines for employees' leave during isolation and quarantine related to Covid-19 are published on the websites of the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.
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