Jersey's government has announced new advice this morning to slow the spread of Corona virus, which includes telling islanders not to travel unless it's essential, just 24 hours after urging them to continue taking holidays as normal.
Today's guidance also advises those over 65 to practice 'social distancing' and for any islanders with flu-like symptoms to stay at home for at least 7 days, irrespective of whether they have travelled outside the island, or come into contact with someone else with the virus.
The new advice brings the island much closer to the measures already being taken in Guernsey. Yesterday, the Government faced a backlash amid claims that it had "missed an opportunity" to protect islanders, led by one of Jersey's most senior medics, Dr. Andrew Mitchell, who hit out at the island's position as “astonishing” on Twitter, opting to issue his own “different” advice to patients.
“Don’t travel. If you are elderly then limit social contact to essentials. Work from home,” he wrote.
On Friday last week, after a four-hour meeting of the Emergencies Council, the Chief Minister John Le Fondre, had said there was no need for islanders to change their travel plans, and they should maintain "a measured semblance of normal life."
Pictured: Dr. Andrew Mitchell who broke ranks yesterday, and criticised the government for not going far enough to protect islanders
Today, its Dr. Mitchell's advice which has become official policy.
It follows a media briefing yesterday in which the Government spoke of "flattening the curve" and "building herd immunity" as they try and implement measures which mean although islanders may still contract the virus and so build immunity to it, they do so only at a rate which can be managed by the health service.
To achieve that, the Government has issued fresh advice this morning, which it said were in response to "updated modelling."
Pictured: the new measures are mainly designed to protect vulnerable groups, like the elderly; for others, the virus is said to be usually "mild."
Commenting on the new measures, Dr Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Officer for Health, said: “We’re putting in place these important new recommendations with immediate effect.
“Social distancing is one of the most important things over 65s can do to protect themselves from coronavirus. Within our current model, this specific form of social distancing could reduce mortality rates by up to 35% in this age group. It will also reduce the demand on the health service.
“At the same time, we must isolate all symptomatic Islanders and minimise travel.
“These recommendations are the best next steps that we can take to reduce cases of Covid-19 in Jersey."
Pictured: good hand hygiene is still the main advice for controlling the spread of the virus.
The Government says there are at least 17,000 islanders who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, which reduce their immune system. For other islanders, the affects of the virus are described as "mild."
Next week the Government says it will make decisions on whether to ban any 'large' gatherings of people, and if measures are needed to restrict the opening of schools.
Kissing, shaking hands and hugging with people from outside of your household.
Close contact with children and grandchildren in multi-generation households by
Staying home where possible.
Keeping a distance of 1 metre /3 feet from others.
Avoiding large public events and crowds where there is close proximity.
Avoiding public transport at peak hours unless essential.
Working from home if you can do so.
Not visiting other households unless essential and ensuring that they are not displaying symptoms.
For those who chose to continue their current roles in the community, the advice is to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene, cleaning surfaces regularly and avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
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