REGINA -- Anyone who is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic will now be exempt from having to self isolate after being exposed to COVID-19 as a close contact, the Government of Saskatchewan said Tuesday.

The province announced the changes to its self isolation requirements, citing rising second dose numbers.

"More than 20 per cent of those 12 and up in Saskatchewan are considered fully vaccinated," Health Minister Paul Merriman said. "The level of protection provided by two doses of the vaccine is enabling us to announce new guidelines around self-isolation. This is another important step in getting back to normal and enjoying the summer."

The changes do not apply to anyone who has been exposed and has symptoms. The province said Public Health can still require fully vaccinated close contacts to isolate at their discretion, if the person is at high risk of serious illness or increased transmission; or they live in settings at risk of outbreaks.

“There is still a requirement for health care workers and employees/residents at facilities including long-term and personal care homes, corrections facilities and other congregate living settings to be tested, if they are deemed close contacts of someone who is COVID-19 positive,” the province said in a release.

The federal government’s 14-day self-isolation period following international travel remains, but is subject to change.