PUTRAJAYA: Individuals above the age of 18 who are in close contact with COVID-19 positive cases, have taken their booster jabs and are asymptomatic on the first day will not be required to undergo quarantine from March 1, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said this new procedure was based on the risk assessment in a move towards the endemic phase.

However, he said, the close contacts who are not required to undergo the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) must take a self COVID-19 rapid test kit (RTK) on the first and third day from the last day they were in contact with the positive COVID-19 case.

He said if the test came back positive, the individual must report the result via the MySejahtera application and undergo self-quarantine and if it came back negative on the first and third day, the individual can carry on as usual.

"This approach is based on the risk assessment from the Ministry of Health (MOH)," he said in a press conference on COVID-19 development here today.

Khairy said based on data from other variants MOH found that the viral load in fully vaccinated individuals would decrease, adding that the viral load would likely be reduced in those who have taken booster doses during the Omicron wave.

Khairy said for fully-vaccinated individuals who are tagged as close contacts but have yet to take a booster jab, the quarantine period remained at five days.

He said MOH found that individuals who tested positive or contracted the virus during the Omicron wave would show symptoms on the third day.

He said close contact individuals would be required to answer Health Assessment Tool (HAT) questions via the Mysejahtera application, where they would be asked whether they are exhibiting any symptoms, adding that the HSO would not be issued.