Omikron and our job – nine questions, nine answers
Does the whole office have to be quarantined if a work colleague has tested positive for Covid-19? What if the child has omicrons – do both parents have to stay at home? These and other questions are currently leaving a big question mark for many Austrians. The eXXpress provides the answers.
When do I have to be in quarantine?
If the PCR test is positive, you must be in quarantine: Even if you are vaccinated and even if you have no symptoms. After five days you have the opportunity to test yourself. Otherwise, the quarantine is valid for ten days.
When am I considered contact 1?
–Anyone who has stayed 15 minutes or more in the same room with a Covid case at a distance of less than two meters.
–Household contacts (partner, children, parents, roommates)
–People who, regardless of distance, are likely to have been exposed to a relevant concentration of aerosols (e.g. partying, singing together or playing sports indoors) or who have had unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions from a confirmed case.
-People who have had direct physical contact with a confirmed positive person (shaking hands, hugging,..)
–Seatmates on long-distance modes of transport such as airplanes, trains and coaches.
What are exceptions to K1?
You are exempt if:
– Both people wore an FFP2 mask throughout the contact
– Individuals who have had at least 3 immunological events at least 7 days prior to exposure. Vaccination or past illnesses are considered to be immunological events. The most common form here is being “boosted,” or a recovery plus two shots. Severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed persons are excluded from this
– Children aged 5 to 11 who had at least two immunological events at least 14 days before contact (e.g. two vaccinations)
If my work colleague is positive, does everyone in the office have to be quarantined?
No, boosters generally cannot be K1. Even those who have not been boosted do not necessarily have to be in quarantine if the K1 exception regulations (see above) are met.
What if my child has omicron?
If your child has tested positive for Corona, the same rules apply as for adults. However, if the parents or household members have not been vaccinated three times or have recovered + been vaccinated twice, they must go into a ten-day mandatory quarantine, unless distance rules can be observed as with the former K2, now K1 exceptions. In contrast to your child, they cannot test themselves if they are not boosted.
Does my child have to stay at home if they are K1?
No, because if the child’s classmate or teacher is positive, the same rules apply as for adults (see questions 1 and 2). Since the exception regulations are met in the class (distance, continuous mask), the child does not have to be in quarantine. If a student tests positive, the whole class is tested every day for a week instead of three times. If several positive cases are then discovered, i.e. a cluster is formed, the entire class must be quarantined for at least five days.
What if my partner or child tests positive but I test negative?
This rule causes a lot of misunderstanding among those affected: As a person living in the same household, you have to go into a ten-day quarantine – even if you have been vaccinated twice or have recovered. Unlike the infected person, you cannot test yourself free after 5 days. The only exception: If you are boosted, there are no quarantine regulations.
Does the employer have to continue to pay me my wages during the quarantine?
Yes. The Chamber of Commerce says: “If an employee is officially quarantined, the employer must continue to pay the full amount until the quarantine is over and the employee can return to work.
However, within 3 months after the end of the quarantine, the employer can apply to the Magistra, who took this measure, for reimbursement of the continued payment. The notification that the employee received from the health authority under the Epidemics Act on quarantine must be attached to this application as evidence.
Does my employer have to pay if I test negative but receive the recommendation from doctors or the Corona hotline 1450 to stay at home?
No, in this case the employer is not obliged to continue paying the salary. The WKO says: “If there is no official separation by the district administrative authority (health authority), but (only) the recommendation by the hotline 1450 to “stay at home”, there is basically no obligation on the part of the employer to continue paying wages. The modalities of staying away must therefore be clarified. Time off in lieu for overtime, the holiday agreement, home office, paid or unpaid leave of absence come into consideration. If, on the other hand, the employer has granted the person concerned a paid leave of absence, i.e. the wages have been continued to be paid, the company has no claim for compensation against the health authorities. This is because it is not an officially ordered quarantine.