U.S. health officials are cutting isolation restrictions for Americans who test positive for the coronavirus and shortening the time that close contacts have to quarantine.

People with the virus can leave isolation after five days, which is down from 10 days.

People exposed to the virus can also leave quarantine after five days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the changes Monday. CDC officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that the coronavirus is most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptom onset.

The decision also was influenced by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the omicron variant.

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