Right from the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians have been told that 14 days is the amount of time for self-isolating. However, the Quebec Ministry of Health has now dropped their minimum by four days and they're not the only province to do so.
CTV News reports that the Quebec Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the office of public health, has lowered the required period after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms to 10 days.
People who developed symptoms are free to stop isolating afterward as long as they have not had a fever for 48 hours and are not experiencing any other signs of illness beyond the loss of smell or a cough (which can last longer) for 24 hours.
"Once the isolation period is over, people are no longer considered contagious," director of public health Horacio Arruda said in a statement, "but they must make sure to follow the instructions that apply to the general population, such as hand washing, wearing a face covering and physical distancing."
The Government of Quebec's website currently starts with the message, "This page is currently being updated as to the isolation periods to which it refers. The updated version will be available soon."
Graphique sur la répartition du nombre quotidien de décès liés à la #COVID19 selon le milieu de vie et la date de d… https://t.co/BJLdK5KJsc— Santé Québec (@Santé Québec)1598540748.0
Quebec is not the first province to lower the amount of time required for isolation.
Alberta also legally requires a 10-day quarantine for people with signs of COVID-19. However, they specify the "period is for 10 days from the start of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer."
British Columbia similarly says that people who have tested positive for the virus need to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.
Both provinces still recommend that anyone who has potentially come into contact with the virus should isolate for two weeks.
The World Health Organization's own recommendations state that people with COVID-19 should quarantine for no less than 13 days from when symptoms started.
The full two weeks for self-isolating still applies to anyone who arrives anywhere in Canada from outside of the country.